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July 25, 2007

20th Anniversary of the Murder of a Palestinian Cartoonist


al-Ali's cartoons were critical of Mideast leaders like Arafat and Khomeini

Palestinian journalists face all kinds of threats from Palestinian leaders today, but this is hardly a new development. Twenty years ago, on July 22, 1987, a Palestinian cartoonist -- Naji Salim al-Ali -- was gunned down on a London street. al-Ali satirized Arab politics and was especially critical of Iran's Ayatollah Khomeini. The BBC reports:

An Al Qabas [newspaper] spokesman says [al-Ali] received over 100 death threats during his career.

Mr al-Ali's colleague revealed a senior member of Yasser Arafat's PLO telephoned the cartoonist in the middle of June and said: "You must correct your attitude."

"Don't say anything against the honest people, otherwise we will have business to sort you out," the caller continued.

Mr al-Ali ignored the warning and published a cartoon lampooning Mr Arafat and his henchmen on 24 June.

(Hat tip: Michael H.)

Posted by TS at July 25, 2007 03:05 AM


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