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Korean court fines artist for cartoon of president

Korea Times reports that The Supreme Court has upheld a district court ruling fining cartoonist “Choi” 3 million won ($2,600) for “drawing a cartoon directing abusive words toward President Lee Myung-bak.

He drew the cartoon in June last year, depicting family members paying respect to a soldier’s monument, with an offensive comment against the President hidden in a pattern on the monument.

The city distributed some 20,000 copies of the paper, and the hidden message was found by citizens and spread online at the time of publication. The city sued Choi for 120 million won in damages, claiming his cartoon obstructed businesses of the city government as it had to recollect all the papers and make a public apology for printing the controversial cartoon.

Community Comments

#1 Ted Rall
@ 9:00 am

Another reminder that South Korea isn’t a free society. It’s an autocracy, the typical form of government of our allies.

#2 mike peters
@ 2:51 pm

Alan, Is there any way we can help pay off this fine? Either with the cartoonist or through his paper? Mike Peters

#3 Ted Rall
@ 3:03 pm

Exactly the sort of thing that the AAEC should be doing, Mike, and a great idea!

An email to President Steve Kelley would be in order.

#4 Dave Stephens
@ 4:57 pm

I’d donate.
In a heartbeat.

All over the non-Western world, cartoonists are being oppressed non-stop, daily, whilst we here in the US squawk loudly over the most minor inconveniences as if Armageddon was nigh…

#5 Stephanie McMillan
@ 7:51 am

I’m not sure if they’re going to take up this particular case, but for those who aren’t aware of it, there is an organization through which people can assist cartoonists internationally. Cartoonists Rights Network International (CRNI).

#6 Ted Rall
@ 12:26 pm

Cartoonists get oppressed everywhere, including in the Westerm world.

#7 Henry Clausner
@ 7:59 am

:::checking my cartoon files of hidden offensive messages….brb…..nope, I’m clean.

#8 steve Artley
@ 11:49 am

The AAEC should at least submit a protest to the S.Korean government.

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