Cartoon competition draws hope for a world without torture

Tuesday, November 2, 2021

Judges of a national cartoon competition for Malaysian youth have praised the skill, insight and courage of the young artists and their ability to capture the importance of ending torture and mistreatment in police custody.

More than 100 entries were received in the competition, which was launched in July by Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM) and the APT to raise awareness among Malaysian youth that everyone should be #SafeInCustody.

Seventy-six submissions were shortlisted for prizes across two categories: 15-18 years and 19-24 years.

The winners were announced on 30 October 2021 during an online event attended by competition participants. The winning artworks are currently on display through on e-gallery accessible to everyone.

Renowned Malaysian cartoonist and head judge, Zunar, said he was impressed with the quality of cartoons submitted.

“The youths are very talented and skillful, and this is shown in their artwork. They showed great understanding and maturity in handling the subject matter and drew the cartoons from their heart”. 

Zunar, Cartoonist

Zunar encouraged the young artists to continue to develop their knowledge as this will further strengthen the messages in their cartoons.

Sevan Doraisamy, SUARAM Executive Director, commended the youths’ courage in producing cartoons with important messages about torture prevention. He reiterated the effectiveness of using cartoons and visual mediums to advocate for human rights causes.

Shazeera Zawawi, APT representative and respected cartoonist, applauded the ability of the young artists to humanise torture victims through their cartoons. She said cartooning is a powerful way to bring visibility to an issue such as torture, that is commonly shrouded in secrecy.

The cartoon competition is part of the #SafeInCustody project, which the APT is coordinating with partners in Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand, to reduce risky practices during the first hours of police custody.

An important aspect of the project is to collaborate with youth, artists and others on creative ventures that build public support for torture prevention and respect for rights in detention.



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