Saturday, October 31, 2015

Palestinian Cartoonists Baha Boukhari Dies

From  Cartoonists Rights Network International.

In his Ramallah studio, 2013

Baha Boukhari, prominent cartoonist for a number of Palestinian journals and for Al-Ayyam newspaper since 1999, has died in Ramallah at the age of 71. 

In 2008, a Hamas-run court ordered Al-Ayyam banned from the Gaza Strip because of a Boukhari cartoon mocking Hamas parliamentarians. The court had, according to Palestinian Chronicle, found the cartoon “defamatory, disrespectful and bordering on blasphemous.” 

The court also ordered suspended jail sentences and fines against Boukhari, the newspaper’s editor, Akram Haniyeh, and the paper’s Gaza distributor. The attempted censorship of Boukhari was met with public demonstrations in the cartoonist’s defence. 

That year, Baha Boukhari was named winner of CRNI’s Courage in Editorial Cartooning award.

Boukhari was a founding member of Cartooning For Peace in 2006. 

He was one of the cartoonists profiled in the 2014 documentary Cartoonists: Footsoldiers For Democracy

Cartooning for Peace writes: “Baha Boukhari was an incredible artist and a strong supporter of peace in the Middle East and freedom of expression. We will deeply miss him.”

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