World famous Indian cartoonist launches campaign for jailed journalists in Turkey

A world famous political cartoonist and free speech activist Aseem Trivedi has launched a “cartoon campaign” for raising awareness on wide-scale oppression targeting journalists and crical media in Turkey. Indian cartoonist and human rights activist Triverdi has published 10 cartoons in the “Black & White – Online Cartoon Magazine for Human Rights” to attract attention to the oppressive Erdogan regime’s massive violations of press freedom and human rights in Turkey .

He stated in the website that “these ten cartoons are a symbolic protest to the crackdown on media in Turkey during the state of emergency. The authorities have jailed around 100 journalists without trial, closed 149 media outlets, rescinded 775 press cards, withdrawn journalists’ passports and seized their assets without justification in last six months.”

As a political cartoonist and free speech activist Trivedi’s website was blocked and he was arrested for his anti-corruption cartoons in India in 2012. As a Indian political cartoonist and activist, Trivedi is best known for his anti-corruption campaign “Cartoons Against Corruption”. He is also a founder member of “Save Your Voice”, a movement against internet censorship in India.

By defining ‘Black & White’ as a small attempt to use cartoons in the campaigns for human rights Trivedi stated that “Today, writers, artists, activists and human rights defenders are being targeted for their works and creations across the globe. We are getting used to with the news of years long unlawful detentions and many other unjustified, inhuman sentences like flogging and beheading. Due to government induced censorship and control over media, sometimes the world remains totally unaware of these human rights violations and the victims get no support from anywhere.”

“But” he says “since last few years, online activism has given us a ray of hope. Many organizations and activist have succeeded to organize powerful international campaigns in their support and in many fortunate cases; they’ve been successful to achieve the goal. ‘Black & White’ is an effort to contribute in these campaigns through the art of cartooning, which is getting mightier with the time.”

The Stockholm Center for Freedom (SCF) has documented the individual cases of 191 journalists who are either convicted and serving time in prison or jailed in pre-trial detention in a report released on January 26, 2017. According to the SCF, most of the journalists have not even seen an indictment against them. The report stated that 92 journalists are wanted for arrest but remain at large either in Turkey or abroad.

The SCF has also said that almost 300 journalists in Turkey, a member state of the Council of Europe and a candidate country for European Union membership, are languishing behind bars or facing outstanding arrest warrants. The number of media organizations seized and shut down by the government has reached 189, according to detailed SCF report.

Feb. 13, 2017

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Aseem Trivedi is a political cartoonist and free speech activist. His website was blocked and he was arrested for his anti corruption cartoons in 2012.

 

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