Travel Ban: Support from World’s cartoonist organisations, NGOs
World’s cartoonist organisations, NGOs have came forward to support Zunar and condemn the Malaysian goverment action to impose the traveling ban on him.
Below are the statements from the Cartoonist Rights Network International, The Cartooning For Peace Faundation, The Cartoon Movement, Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), Article 19 and Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ)
1. Cartoonist Rights Network International, Washington
Zunar Grounded by Malaysian Police Chief
“We were worried about this for some time. The authorities must lift this illegal infringement upon Zunar’s rights.” – CRNI Executive Director Dr Robert Russell
Zunar is contesting charges of sedition by the Malaysian government. He has endured more than a decade of harassment from officials with his office raided by the police on multiple occasions, his publications confiscated and website disrupted. This amounts to a war of attrition against him as time, resources and energy are consumed by a long and convoluted court case at one end and his livelihood is curtailed at the other.
The travel ban comes after Zunar, along with Gado of Kenya, received the Cartooning For Peace award last May and his exhibition in Geneva was described as an act of “economic sabotage” by the Malaysian Minister for Communications and possible grounds for police action by the Deputy Prime Minsiter.
2. The Cartooning For Peace Foundation
Geneva, (Switzerland) 18, October 2016.
a) We are proud to support Zunar, a courageous and recognized cartoonist of Malaysia who has received the 2016 Cartooning for Peace Award of the City of Geneva on May 3 rd in Switzerland to mark World Press Freedom Day.
b) By drawing and commenting on current affairs with talent, impertinence and humour, cartoonists test and expand the bounds of freedom of expression, and thereby, extend our own freedom. Zunar like other editorial cartoonists who are threatened, imprisoned or forced to flee into exile because of their drawingsdeserve the full support of the international community.
c) We call upon the Malaysian authorities to clarify the situation and provide the public with an explanation as to why Zunar was banned from travelling on 17 October to Singapore.
d) We join International and Human Rights NGOs and call upon the Malaysian authorities to lift the travel ban on Zunar with immediate effect and to respect the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights signed by Malaysia.
e) Let us pay tribute to Zunar and other editorial cartoonists for their courage to work and draw under very difficult circumstances in many regions of the world.
Marie Heuzé and Patrick Chappatte
Vice-Presidents of the Swiss Foundation Cartooning for Peace
4. The Cartoon Movement (Holland)
Malaysian Cartoonist Zunar Banned from Traveling
We have reported about Malaysian cartoonist Zunar on numerous occasions. Zunar’s cartoons are very critical of the Malaysian government, much to the dismay of government officias. He currently faces nine charges under the Sedition Act with the possibility of 43 years in jail. Today, he was also banned from traveling.
4. Comic Book Legal Defense Fund
By Maren Williams
Zunar travel banThe Malaysian government’s censorship campaign against political cartoonist Zunar entered a new phase today: when he attempted to catch a flight to Singapore for a public forum, he discovered that he’s been barred from leaving the country on direct orders from Inspector General of Police Khalid Abu Bakr. Zunar’s trial on nine counts of sedition is currently set to begin on November 22, but has already been delayed multiple times.
5. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ)
Malaysian political cartoonist banned from leaving country
The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins its affiliate, the National Union of Journalists Malaysia (NUJM), in condemning the travel ban of a notable political cartoonist in Malaysia. The IFJ demands that the ban be immediately lifted, and that freedom of movement is ensured for all media workers within the country.
6. Article 19
Malaysia: Travel ban for Zunar and other HRDs a violation of right to freedom of expression
Article 19 urges the Malaysia government to lift the travel ban imposed on famous Malaysian cartoonist Zunar, as discovered by the cartoonist when trying to leave Malaysia on 17 October 2016.
7. Committee to Protect Journalists
Award-winning Malaysian cartoonist banned from travel
“Malaysia’s persistent harassment of cartoonist Zunar has made him a symbol of the worsening state of press freedom in the country,” said Shawn Crispin, CPJ’s senior Southeast Asia representative. “We call for an immediate and unconditional lift of the ban imposed on his international travel and for all charges against him to be dropped.”
8. Index on Cencorship
Malaysia imposes travel ban on award-winning cartoonist