This statement was originally published on cartoonistrights.org on 5 January 2017.
In order to mark the second anniversary of the deadly terrorist attack at Charlie Hebdomagazine’s office in Paris we are co-signatories on a joint statement from Reporters Without Borders, Cartooning for Peace, Cartoon Movement and the American Association of Editorial Cartoonists remembering lost colleagues and recognising the plight of those who are living in exile, in prison or under threat.
How you wield a pencil can still lead to violent reprisals. Only too often, cartoonists pay a high price for their irony and impertinence. The threats they receive are barometers of free speech, acting as indicators of the state of democracy in times of trouble.
It is hard to say whether cartoonists are more exposed since the attack that killed 12 people at Charlie Hebdo in Paris on 7 January 2015. But they continue to be subjected to political, religious and economic pressure, to censorship, dismissal, death threats, judicial harassment, violence and, in the worst cases, even murder. As a profession, they are clearly threatened.
«Since the Charlie tragedy, many cartoonists have lived under constant political, religious and economic pressure, and pressure from non-state groups as well,» RSF secretary-general Christophe Deloire said.