Tom Spurgeon's Web site of comics news, reviews, interviews and commentary

March 11, 2014

Djamel Ghanem Acquitted In Algeria After Delay

The cartoonist Djamel Ghanem was acquitted earlier today of charges related to cartoons criticizing Algeria's president Abdelaziz Bouteflika. Ghanem's lawyer talked to the press. Prosecutors had been seeking an 18-month prison sentence and a small fine. Where it got a little weird is that 1) the cartoon wasn't even published, 2) the case was officially brought against the cartoonist by his employer, the in-with-the-administration La Voix De L'Oranie. It was also odd in that unlike some lawsuits, this cartoon pointed out that Bouteflika was mulling over a presidential run despite being older and in ill-health... and the President did decide to re-run for president, is old, and is frequently and recently bedridden and sick. So it's not one of those cases where a specific, nasty charge or even a broad caricature was employed.

The cartoon would have appeared in late September last year. The article notes that self-censorship is rampant in Algeria, and no wonder.
posted 2:15 am PST | Permalink

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