Outdoor Art Project in Amsterdam
Let's Share This: Stories of Silent Helpers

New Year, Still Dangerous to be a Cartoonist

2014 isn't off to a great start for cartooning, with cartoonists from Palestine and Ecuador facing death threats and legal threats respectively.

Xavier Bonilla, publishing under the name Bonil  in the daily newspaper El Universo, is one of the first targets of a new and controversial communication law in Ecuador. The cartoon in question is about a police assault on a parliamentary advisor of the opposition, who was accused of espionage against president Correa and other state officials.

Head over to the website of CRNI for more background on the story. In a ruling on February 1, the court deemed the image 'harmful to president Correa', and gave Bonil 72 hours to 'correct' his work. We'll keep following this story as it develops.

Another cartoonist, in even more serious trouble, is Palestinian Majda Shaheen. A cartoon published on her Facebook page, which depicted a perceived view of the relationship between the Head of the Ruling Authority in Gaza, Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas, and the al-Quds brigades, resulted in calls for retaliation against the cartoonist, and even death threats. The official page of  the al-Quds Brigades posted a request to reveal the cartoonist's place of residence, most likely with the intention to retaliate.

Majda issues an apology for the cartoon, unfortunately to little effect, and she was forced to seclude herself out of fear for her safety. The latest news is that the situation might be improving; Majda hopes the incident will blow over.

More info on this story on the website of CRNI and Arab Cartoon House (who broke this this story).


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