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

November 30, 2015

Algerian Cartoonist Sentenced To Jail Term And Fine

I missed this until a reader pointed it out, my apologies: the Algerian cartoonist Tahar Djehiche was convicted on appeal of charges insulting the president and inciting a mob, charges on which he was acquitted in May. The end result is a six-month prison sentence, a fine of approximately $4600 USD (or about three months of an Algerian average salary) and a call from Reporter Without Borders for an overturned conviction.

The cartoon in question depicted the president a collapsing under sands in an hourglass as commentary on a desert town's protesting of shale gas exploration. As tends to be the case with these things, the cartoon in question sounds like the kind of daily content that in many country goes almost with notice as opposed to some dire, severe take on an issues. The lawsuits and court cases, then, come across as political maneuvers rather than applications of principle.

The cartoon was posted on various social networks. The cartoonist's Facebook feed is extremely active.

The article points out that political pressure on Algerian media has been on the upswing since before the 2014 elections, and Algeria has been the subject of previous attention by the press rights group.
posted 10:55 pm PST | Permalink

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