“In my country I was threatened because of my works”


© Syed Meysam Agha Syed Hosseini

The Surreal McCoy writes:

Syed Meysam Agha Syed Hosseini, Iranian author and caricaturist left his country two years ago. He left because of daily threats and pressures from the Revolutionary Guards and some of Iranian security forces.

The reason? Publication of some of his cartoons in well-known journals and newspapers of Iran such as Sanat va Toseh and Sharherwand. One particular cartoon, drawn when Obama met the Iranian president Hassan Rouhani, depicted two hands holding the US and Iranian flags, forming the dove of peace. Meysam was beaten up by unknown assailants who kept asking him why he had put the US flag over Iran’s flag and why the Iranian character had no beard. Then one of his abstract paintings intended for display at the Peace Museum was destroyed. He was told by security forces that the single eye in the painting was a symbol of Judaism and Israel and therefore could not be shown.

© Syed Meysam Agha Syed Hosseini

He has lived in fear for most of his life, harassed and threatened with death by men loyal to the Revolutionary guards (who he says probably carried out the beatings). Two years ago he fled Iran along with his wife. They now live in Turkey where, in poor health, he is struggling to find work. His supporters are now lobbying the United Nations for relocation to a safe country.

© Syed Meysam Agha Syed Hosseini

Visit the CRNI website to learn more about Meysam and other cartoonists in danger

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