”If you can’t defeat the politicians; I say laugh at them” – Zunar
Speaking freely is not something everyone can take for granted. To openly criticize your government or nation without any consequences is something that is impossible in many countries. Malaysia is one example of a country where freedom of speech does not apply, the Malaysian political satirist, Zunar, is now facing 9 different charges in court, simply for tweeting. His tweets criticized the judiciary of Malaysia after the opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim was jailed on sodomy charges, meaning that he was accused of homosexuality. Zunar, whose real name is Zulkiflee Anwar Ulhaque, uses his cartoons and social media to criticize the Malaysian government and the corruption in the country. These criticisms have caused him be charged and detained twice citing the same law that he is now accused of having broken. This law is called the Sedition Act and originated in the colonial-era, it is a law that still tramps down the freedom of expression under the guise of protecting national security and deterring racial or religious unrest. During his earlier charges, Zunar was freed after a just few days, but this time he awaits a trial which could lead to him being imprisoned for 43 years. This indictment severely violates the human rights that everyone should have and has therefore been brought to light by Amnesty International.
To keep Zunar from being imprisoned, the human rights organization included him in the largest Amnesty campaign of the year: Write for rights. Throughout December activists around the world are writing letters, collecting petitions and conducting special solidarity actions to raise awareness for various human rights issues around the world. This year one of the cases brought forward is Zunar’s lawsuit.
As a part of this Amnesty campaign, the KG Amnesty Association decided, together with the Art Association and KZINE, to organize an art competition highlighting the work of Zunar and showing our support for his cartoons and political opinions. Since Zunar is active on twitter we will show him the work made in his honor by posting it on the Amnesty twitter account. As it is a competition, we will also let the students at KG vote for the best art project outside of the canteen on the 16th of December. By participating in the competition you can both show your fellow KG students your amazing art skills and show support for the work of Zunar.
To participate in the competition, please write an email to firstname.lastname@example.org before the 10th of December saying that you will participate in the competition and then submit your art piece to the same mail before the 16th of December. The art piece should either be drawn in Zunar’s drawing style (with an amnesty related topic), be criticizing the Malaysian government or show your support to Zunar by criticizing the government’s charges against him.
Good luck and remember:
“Don’t look so serious—this is cartoon work.” – Zunar
Nadja Prigorowsky | 14 May
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