Monday, September 10, 2012

Release Cartoonist Aseem Trivedi

>>> SIGN THE PETITION <<<


Charged with sedition and insulting national emblems in his cartoons, Aseem Trivedi — a political cartoonist based in Kanpur — surrendered  to poilce in Mumbai on September 8, 2012.
The Mumbai Police’s cyber wing had blocked Trivedi’s website, www.cartoonsagainstcorruption.com, last December, sparking a debate on freedom of expression in India. He is a founder member of Save Your Voice, a movement against internet censorship in India.
In January, a case of sedition was filed against him at the Beed district court. In another case before the Bombay HC, Trivedi has been charged with insulting India’s national symbols.
He has been awarded Courage in Editorial Cartooning Award for 2012 by CRNI.The Cartoonists Rights Network International urged the authorities in the world’s largest democracy to stand up for free speech and put an end to all the attempts to silence Aseem’s political speech. Dr. Robert Russell, Executive Director of CRNI, commented, "Aseem’s enemies either don’t know how to interpret symbols in editorial cartoons or are knowingly twisting the law to silence dissent in order to shield corrupt officials.

Greetings,

I just signed the following petition addressed to: Shri R R Patil , Maharashtra , Home Minister.

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Release Political Cartoonist Assem Trivedi

Respected Sir

Aseem Trivedi, 25, is a freelance cartoonist and 2012 recipient of the ‘Courage in Editorial Cartooning Award’ of Virginia-based Cartoonists Rights Network International. He shares the award with Syrian cartoonist Ali Ferzat who is on Time magazine’s list of the 100 Most Influential People in the World. Controversial cartoons parodying national symbols and emblems were displayed by Trivedi during the anti-corruption protests led by Anna Hazare in December 2011, leading to private complaints being filed against him.

In January, a case of sedition was filed against him at the Beed district court. In another case before the Bombay HC, Trivedi has been charged with insulting India’s national symbols.

A Mumbai Police team visited his residence in Kanpur on August 30. Aseem was not at home, but his parents were taken to the local police station. By the time he reached the police station, the police team had left. It was only after he made calls to the Mumbai Police that he was told about a complaint filed by advocate Rajendra Pratap Yadav. The police did not send me any notice earlier, to him.

On Sept 8, Assem Trivedi arrived in Mumbai and straight went to Bandra Kurla Station and was arrested he has been charged under under 124a sedition, 66a of IT Act and National Emblem act

Slapping Sec 124a sedition on Aseem is absolutely unacceptable . Aseem’s cartoons are clearly not an attempt to co-opt national symbols for a commercial venture. In the language of the law, they do not tend to create an impression that they relate to the Government or that they are official documents of the Government. Aseem’s cartoons are indictments of the pervasive corruption in the corridors of India’s Parliament. And that’s political speech worthy of a great democracy’s protection.


I demand Aseem Trivedi be released immediately. The Indian Constitution allows for “the right to freedom of speech and expression.”

Sincerely,

[Your name] 

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