On 16 February 2013, Palestinian cartoonist Mohammad Saba’aneh was detained by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) at the Karame border between the West Bank and Jordan, where he had been attending a conference at the Arab American University in Amman. Since then he has been held without any clear charge and his detention extended on more than one occasion. On 7 March the authorities decided to extend the detention for another 8 days.
Mohammad’s classic cartoon ‘Dreaming of Freedom’ appeared in the Open Window section of New Internationalist magazine in May 2011 and is doubly poignant in the current circumstances. Other members of Cartoon Movement, an international network of political cartoonists, have rallied to his defence, among them fellow Palestinian Fadi Abou Hasan (left), Enrico Bertuccioli (caricature below) from Italy and Dlog from Tunisia.
In February Saba’aneh’s family wrote an open letter, after the death of Palestinian prisoner Arafat Jaradat, appealing to humanitarian organizations around the world: ‘Work hard to save our son and all prisoners from the Occupation prisons, to end their suffering by lifting their case up to international forums to assure their safety and their legal rights.’