Political cartoonist and satirist Zunar has detailed the 13 times he has been harassed by local law enforcement over his cartoons. In a report by FMT.com
, the artist believes that the government 'fears' his work and their on-going harassment is the by-product of their fear.
"The pattern shows that the government’s actions are directly proportionate to the increased level of corruption and injustices. A corrupt government fears cartoons. I would like to point out my stand: talent is not a gift, but a responsibility. It is my responsibility as a cartoonist to expose corruption and injustices," Zunar said.
“Do I fear jail? Yes, but responsibility is bigger than fear. You can ban my books, you can ban my cartoons, but you cannot ban my mind.”
What was not documented in his web post was the arrest in Penang's historic Komtar and the arrest at his fundraiser on Saturday, bringing the total amount of incidents with the poilice to 15. We've extracted the list of harassment for your pleasure below:
17 Oct 2016:
Zunar was banned from traveling abroad by the Malaysian government. He will file a legal proceeding to challenge the ruling.
2 April 2015:
Zunar was slapped with nine charges under the archaic Sedition Act and facing possible 43 years imprisonment and the court proceeding will start on 22 Nov 2016.
28 Feb 2015:
More than 20 policemen raided his launching event in Brickfields, Kuala Lumpur and threatened to detain him and confiscate the book, ROS in Kangkong Land
, if he proceed. He had to cancel the program.
14 Feb 2015:
Hundreds of the books, ROS in Kangkong Land
, were confiscated by the police from the printer’s lorry en-route to the launching venue.
10 Feb 2015:
Zunar was detained and locked up for three days under the Sedition Act. He was accused to have tweeted seditious comments in relation to the Federal Court’s decision, which upheld the conviction of Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim. The police opened up two separate investigations on him under the Sedition Act. One is on the tweet criticising Mr Anwar’s sentence under the D5 Unit (Classified Crime). Another is on his cartoon books Pirates of The Carry-BN
and Conspiracy to Imprison Anwar
28 Jan 2015:
There was a raid on his office while he was on a speaking tour in London. More than 150 books were confiscated. Laws used: Printing Presses and Publications Act, Sedition Act, Penal Code.
6 Nov 2014:
Three of his assistants were arrested and taken to the police station for selling his latest cartoon books. Law used: Sedition Act.
16 Nov 2014:
The webmaster, who manages his website and online bookstore, was called in by the police for questioning. Law used: Sedition Act.
18 Nov 2014:
The police have asked the online payment gateway that handles his book transactions to disclose the list of customers who have purchased his books through the official website www.zunar.my
. The company was given no choice but to disclose it. Law used: Sedition Act.
20 Nov 2014:
Zunar was brought in for questioning to the Dang Wangi Police Station in Kuala Lumpur under the ‘Classified Crime Section’ involving three different laws. Laws used: Printing Presses and Publications Act, the Sedition Act, Penal Code.
24 Sept 2010:
Zunar was detained and locked up for two days after the publication of his book, Cartoon-O-Phobia
. Law used: Sedition Act.
Five of his books – Perak Darul Kartun
; 1 Funny Malaysia
; Isu Dalam Kartun Vol.1
, and 3
– were banned by the Home Minister on the grounds that the contents are “detrimental to public order.” Law used: Printing Presses and Publications Act.
His office was raided by the authorities. Five hundred (500) copies of his book titled Gedung Kartun
were confiscated. Law used: Printing Presses and Publications Act.