Cartoon by British cartoonist James. JAMES
For their special issue “7. On January 1st,” the anniversary of the 2015 attack on Charlie Hebdo, the satirical weekly chose to support Iranian men and women and inflict a “spanking,” as the words of the “a” imply, on the mullahs.
The country has been rocked by a wave of protests and repression for nearly four months, sparked by the September 16, 2022 death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Iranian Kurdish woman who died after being arrested by vice squads. who accused her of violating the dress code that requires women to wear the veil in public. Since then, at least 503 civilians have been killed, according to human rights organizations.
In response, on December 8, 2022, Charlie Hebdo launched an international contest called Eliminate the Mullahs (Mullahs Out). To have his drawing selected, the newspaper advised making the “funniest and meanest” caricature of Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. “Caricaturists and cartoonists must support the struggle of Iranians who are fighting for their freedom by ridiculing this religious leader from another time and sending him back to the dustbin of history,” Charlie Hebdo urged at the time.
The drawing by Coco, who also works for Liberation, set the tone, in which we discovered the Ayatollah Khamenei, with pierced nipples, wearing a sadomasochistic outfit under his costume, happy about the abolition of the vice police and shouting “Free at last! »
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Riss, the publication’s director, had no doubt: this protest movement has global implications and Charlie had to open his column to report it. “We wanted drawings to come from all over the world and not get caught up in a Franco-French logic,” he explains, adding that it is essential to show “the graphic diversity of protest”.
“Women, Life, Freedom”
For these 1,589. Edition entirely dedicated to the protest movement in Iran, available on newsstands on Wednesday January 4th and which Le Monde was able to consult, thirty-five drawings were selected from among the 300 that were sent to the editorial board from Iran. from Turkey, the United States, Senegal or even Australia.
In one of them, Ayatollah Khamenei smacks the slogan “Women, Life, Freedom” in the face, while in another cartoon, a mullah is crushed under a heel. These very political drawings also feature a Supreme Leader as Marilyn Monroe, whose costume is lifted by the wind caused by the twirling of the shawls the women have freed themselves from; on another, armed with stones, they stone him.
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