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SAUDI ARABIA

Saudi anger sends Indian editors to jail over American comic strip (1993)

When Johnny Hart of Creators Syndicate did one of the episodes of his popular B.C. comic strip in the spring of 1993, he certainly did not think that his innocent joke would send two Indian editors to a Saudi Arabian prison. Balaram Menon, who worked in Jeddah for the Arab News for the past 11 years, on March 7, 1993, allowed a "B.C." cartoon to be published that Saudi officials felt questioned God's existence. For that, Menon was sentenced to two years in prison and 500 lashes (a form of physical punishment). His editor-in-chief, Farouk Luqman, received a one year sentence and 300 lashes. To the editors' luck, the case received heavy international publicity. That, as well as the tireless lobbying efforts of Arab News and Creators Syndicate eventually led to a royal pardon on September 14, 1993.



Johnny Hart's strip was taken seriously in Saudi Arabia as questioning the existance of God



SUPPRESSION INCIDENTS BY COUNTRY

ALGERIA
Flag mockery (1996) - Artist forced to go underground (1995-96) - Cartoonist murdered (1995)

ARGENTINA
Cartoonist abducted, beaten, intimidated (1996) - Cartoonist murdered (1970s)

AUSTRALIA
A parallel between Naci and Israeli policies is rejected by the editor of Melbourne's popular daily (2002)

BOSNIA
Cartoon show blown up along with spectators (1992)

CAMBODIA
Prohibition of animal depiction in symbolizing politicians (1994)

CHINA
Cartoonist fired over his strip (1995) - Comic book sparks riots (1992)

CROATIA
Repressive law is basis for trial of satirical newsweekly (1996)

CYPRUS
Cartoonist sued and prevented from receiving awards (1989-96)

EGYPT
Law curtails freedom of expression (1995)

ENGLAND
Veteran Palestinian political cartoonist assassinated in exile (1987)

GERMANY
"Restoring order" in Germany (1995)

INDIA
Activists storm exhibition (1994) - Editor arrested over a cartoon (1987)

IRAN
Cartoonist gets ten years for a cartoon resembling the late Ayatollah Khomeini (1992-93)

ISRAEL
Palestinaian cartoonist gets it from both sides (1996) - Clinton cartoon censored (1994) - Israeli arrested (1993) - "Shoe in the mouth" cartoon causes Palestinian publisher to disappear (1973)

JAPAN
Politician takes own life over a missing stroke in a cartoon that changed the name of his party (1992)

KUWAIT
Cartoon ignites riot against a major newspaper (1996)

LIBERIA
First political cartoonist threatened into leaving his country (1984)

MALAYSIA
Kuala Lumpur newspaper pressured into apology (1995)

MONGOLIA
Cartoonists punished for Western connection (1988-93)

RUSSIA
Outrage, threats, and investigation by the Russian Parliament over a Zlatkovsky drawing (1992)

SAUDI ARABIA
Saudi anger sends Indian editors to jail over American comic strip (1993)

SERBIA
Criminal proceedings for picturing statesmen in a "degrading position" (1993)

SOUTH AFRICA
Stronger controls over the press (1987)

SINGAPORE
A threat by the prime minister (1995)

TURKEY
Two cartoonists arrested (1996) - One burned alive (1993) - Editor sentenced to jail term for cartoon (1990-93) - Leading political cartoonist tortured (1970)

USA
Oliphant censored (1993) - Szabo on a Russian spy's list (1987) - Racial sensitivity in Philadelphia (1985)