[Zafa Noor, USA.]
It has been two weeks since Arifur Rahman’s cartoon “Naam” was published which prompted the Bangladesh police to take him to jail and lock him up without pressing any formal charges or allowing him any legal representation in his defense. Arif was picked up from his Uttara residence under Section 54 of Code of Criminal Procedure for drawing the very harmless cartoon that portrayed a widely used naming convention for Bangali Muslim men. The cartoon did not insult the prophet in any way, nor was it Arif’s intention, because his own first name is Mohammed (newspaper reports addressed him as Md. Arifur Rahman).
This young (early 20s) talented cartoonist has earned accolades for targeting corruption with his creative genius. Only a month before his arrest he was awarded with a crest and Taka 10,000 cash in a cartoon contest against corruption arranged by Daily Star, attended by ACC chief Hasan Mashhud Chowdhury among others.