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Helping cartoonist Zunar overcome censorship

Helping cartoonist Zunar overcome censorship

Published on Monday 21 February 2011.
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In a show of support for Malaysia’s banned political cartoonist Zunar and to help him circumvent his country’s censorship, Reporters Without Borders has bought 75 copies of Cartoon-o-phobia, one of his latest collections of cartoons, which will be distributed in Jakarta by the Alliance of Independent Journalists.

The book can also be ordered online at this site: http://blog.cartoonkafe.com/.

The Malaysian courts continue to ban Zunar’s works, which are regarded as seditious because of their scathing criticism of the political and social situation

His cartoons pose no threat to public order and just depict the problems of Malaysian politics with subtlety and irony, and make fun of the ruling coalition (Barisan Nasional). Their distribution is banned under Malaysia’s obsolete Printing and Publication Act, which permits censorship.

Reporters Without Borders condemns the lack of humour displayed by the local authorities and calls for an overhaul of the Printing and Publication Act and other media laws, which throttle freedom of expression.

Zunar (whose real name is Zulkiflee Anawar Ulhaque) told Reporters Without Borders in an interview last November: “I hope that, through my cartoons, people understand what is going on.” His cartoons should be made available to the public instead of being kept under lock and key.

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