Hong Kong political comic strip running since 1983 axed after govt pressure, claims cartoonist

Hong Kong political comic strip running since 1983 axed after govt pressure, claims cartoonist

By India Today World Desk: In the latest crackdown on media in Hong Kong, a noted cartoonist claimed that a newspaper scrapped comic strip running since 1983 following complaints from authorities.

The cartoonist, identified as 67-year-old Wong Kei-kwan, said that Ming Pao newspaper stated in a notice it would scrap the comic strip drawn by him.

Wong, who goes by the pen name Zunzi, is one of the city’s most prominent political cartoonists.

Wong said that he had been informed by the newspaper of several complaints relating to his work. Some of the complaints came this week, reported British newspaper The Independent.

“My sense is that the pressure is building up and it won’t stop without change,” he was quoted as telling Reuters.

The comic strip is known for its satire on Hong Kong and Chinese politics and society.

The newspaper has not released a statement on its decision to discontinue the comic strip.

Wong said the space for media freedom is only shrinking in Hong Kong.

The cartoon strip was one of the few remaining spaces for criticism following Beijing’s decision in 2020 to impose the stringent national security law which followed months of pro-democracy protests in 2019.

“The situation continues to develop in a bad direction,” Wong was quoted as saying.

“There are still many journalists who continue to speak out on different platforms, and comics are only one form. I will continue to speak out when I have the opportunity.”

The discontinuation of the cartoon strip has also been criticised by the Hong Kong Journalists Association.

In a statement, the group said, “The incident reflects that critical voices cannot be tolerated in Hong Kong, and freedom of speech has been further narrowed, which is harmful to society.”

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