September 26, 2007

Free Cartoonist Arifur Rahman

Calling for an international campaign to free the Bangladeshi cartoonist Arifur Rahman who was detained for his harmless statirical cartoon published in Alpin, the satirical supplement of the Bangla Daily Prothom Alo. He is only twenty years old.

Backgrounds on this:

- Bangladesh: yet another Muhammad cartoon controversy

- Attack against freedom of speech: Bangladesh cartoon controversy update

The Bangladeshi Bloggers have pressed for Arifur Rahman's release whereas the Bangladeshi media people are silent about their colleague. I wonder what is keeping them.

* Shourav did the splendid banner above and called for support. (Anybody can use it under creative commons)

Other bloggers chimed in:

* Some more bloggers in Bangla blogging platform "Bandh Bhanger Awaaj"

* Mash at "Or how I learned to stop worrying"

* Addafication

* Dhaka Shohor

* Voice of Bangladeshi Bloggers

- In the Middle of Nowhere who also ask to free Nurul Islam, the Bangladeshi aid worker (BRAC) kidnapped in Afghanistan by the Talibans.

- Serious Golmal

- Unheard Voices

- Tacit

Many international organizations demanded the release of Arifur Rahman:

- Reporters without border (RSF) - Cartoonist arrested over harmless play on name Mohammed. Excerpts:
"The play on words had no intention of attacking the Prophet," Reporters Without Borders said "It was a joke about a cultural custom. The government should not yield to pressure from extremist leaders who are trying to politicize the case. Rahman should not be made a scapegoat. He must be freed."
- International Press Institute (IPI) protests jailing of Cartoonist in Bangladesh and suspension of publication of satirical weekly. Excerpts:
IPI would like to remind Your Excellency that the state of emergency imposed in January after the cancellation of the general election is not an excuse to restrict press freedom. With a general election planned for the end of 2008, it is vital that the country’s citizens have access to information and that the media is free to report facts and express opinions.
- Mukto-Mona condemns the arrest of cartoonist Arifur Rahman. Excerpts:
Thanks to the army & fundamentalists' combined efforts, Mr Rahman's life is now threatened inside or outside prison. What should have been a funny cartoon for people to laugh at has suddenly turned into a matter of life and death for a man whose only attempt was to provide readers amusements. Mukto-Mona demands the immediate release of Mr Arifur Rahman and for protection to be provided to him.
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