Indian cartoonist to accept bail, leave prison: lawyer

An Indian cartoonist detained on sedition charges is expected to accept bail terms and leave prison on Wednesday, his lawyer said, in a case that has outraged freedom of expression campaigners.

Aseem Trivedi, whose sketches often mock the government for corruption, was scheduled to walk out of the Arthur Road jail in Mumbai after the city's High Court said he could be released on a bond of 5,000 rupees ($90).

"He has accepted to be released on bail," his lawyer Vijay Hiremath told AFP, saying the case was now being reviewed. "We are hopeful that they will drop the charges."

The arrest on Saturday of Trivedi, a freelance cartoonist and anti-graft campaigner, sparked a backlash against the government, which has been accused of using colonial-era sedition laws to crush dissent.

Human Rights Watch joined the chorus of protest on Wednesday, calling for the "politically motivated" charges to be dropped immediately.

"Arresting cartoonists for their stinging satire is a hallmark of a dictatorship, not a democracy," Meenakshi Ganguly, the group's South Asia director, said.

"The obvious abuse of the sedition law to silence Trivedi should be the case that prompts the abolition of this law."

Trivedi was arrested in Mumbai under laws governing sedition, information technology and protecting India's national flag and constitution, after a private complaint from a young lawyer.

Cartoons on Trivedi's website include one of the national emblem with lions replaced by blood-thirsty wolves and another depicting the parliament in New Delhi as a huge toilet bowl.

One sketch titled "Gang Rape of Mother India" shows a woman draped in the Indian flag being held down by a politician and a bureaucrat as a horned animal depicting corruption appears ready to attack her.

A court on Monday had ordered the cartoonist to be held in custody until September 24.

Media rights groups Reporters Without Borders and the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) have also called for Trivedi to be freed and all charges dropped.

His arrest came after India ordered more than 300 websites, social networking pages, Twitter accounts and other online content to be blocked last month in an attempt to halt the spread of rumours about ethnic violence.

In the most famous recent sedition case, Indian doctor and human rights activist Binayak Sen was jailed for life in 2010 for allegedly helping Maoist rebels.

He was freed on bail last year on the instructions of the Supreme Court.

India has lately shown sensitivity to criticism of its leaders, with the government responding angrily to a Washington Post article on the struggling Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who has been hit by a string of graft scandals.

Cartoons have also come under fire before. In May, lawmakers reacted in fury over an old cartoon being used in school textbooks lampooning B.R. Ambedkar, author of India's constitution.

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • APNewsBreak: Video released of 'Suge' Knight running over 2
    APNewsBreak: Video released of 'Suge' Knight running over 2

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — Video of Marion "Suge" Knight plowing into two men with his pickup truck and other key evidence in the former rap music mogul's murder case was released Friday by a Los Angeles court. …

  • Paris commemorates Edith Piaf's centenary with exhibition

    An exhibition dedicated to French singer Edith Piaf, whose ballads of love and sorrow made her an international star, has opened in Paris to mark 100 years since her birth. Hundreds of posters, letters, manuscripts, photographs, film clips and even her signature black dress are among the 400 items on display at the National Library of France. "Visitors are immersed in Piaf's world, or worlds, as there are several," exhibition curator Joel Huthwohl told Reuters. "So we hope they are surprised …

  • ‘Batman V Superman’ Official Trailer
    ‘Batman V Superman’ Official Trailer

    The official trailer for "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice" has officially been released, following a leak earlier on Friday. …

  • ‘Batman V Superman’ Trailer Officially Drops
    ‘Batman V Superman’ Trailer Officially Drops

    The official trailer for "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice" has officially been released, following a leak earlier on Friday. …

  • Bahamas R&B singer Johnny Kemp of 'Just Got Paid' fame dies

    KINGSTON, Jamaica (AP) — Bahamian R&B singer Johnny Kemp, who is best known for the hit song "Just Got Paid," has died in Jamaica. He was 55. …

  • Biker faces homicide charge in NY crash that killed rapper

    ELMSFORD, N.Y. (AP) — A motorcyclist accused of riding recklessly on a suburban New York highway and causing a wreck that killed a rapper thrown off another bike has been charged with criminally negligent homicide. …

  • U.S. jury hears Bryant Gumbel testimony in HBO libel trial
    U.S. jury hears Bryant Gumbel testimony in HBO libel trial

    A federal jury heard testimony from Bryant Gumbel on Friday at a trial in which HBO faces libel claims over a report aired on the TV journalist's popular sports news program that focused on child labor in India. Gumbel's videotaped deposition came on the fifth day of the trial in U.S. District Court in Manhattan over the report on "Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel" that first aired in September 2008. The report accused British sporting goods company Mitre Sports International of turning a blind …

  • 12 hurt in Denver-area crash involving tour buses amid fog
    12 hurt in Denver-area crash involving tour buses amid fog

    DENVER (AP) — A dozen people were injured in a crash involving tour buses for two different bands and two trucks on a foggy stretch of Interstate 70 east of Denver on Friday, as a spring storm made driving dangerous across Colorado and Wyoming. …

  • Beyonce's unretouched L'Oreal photos only latest in her long history of Photoshop controvers …

    Beyonce's unretouched L'Oreal photos only latest in her long history of Photoshop controvers …

    Celebrity News - Fri, Feb 20, 2015 1:47 AM PHT
    Beyonce's unretouched L'Oreal photos only latest in her long history of Photoshop controvers …

    Beyonce’s #Flawless image is embroiled in controversy once again. On Wednesday, a web site called The Beyonce World leaked 224 allegedly raw photos of the musician. The images showed Bey in full makeup for the 2013 L’Oreal ad campaign — but with the kinds of “imperfections” we all have — beauty marks, bumps, creases. In the wake of Cindy Crawford’s unretouched photos, the images have been praised by critics of a beauty industry that sets impossibly high standards, standards that Queen Bey …

  • Taylor Swift reveals ‘Style’ video

    Taylor Swift reveals ‘Style’ video

    omg - Sat, Feb 14, 2015 12:14 AM PHT
    Taylor Swift reveals ‘Style’ video

    The 25-year-old released the video for her third cut from platinum selling album 1989. …

  • My mother-in-law’s personal encounter with the pope

    My mother-in-law’s personal encounter with the pope

    Write Away - Wed, Jan 28, 2015 2:29 PM PHT
    My mother-in-law’s personal encounter with the pope

    For my mother-in-law Mrs. Elsa Yrastorza Yuzon, flying and soaring in the skies is part of her normal routine. But it reached new heights when Pope Francis boarded Shepherd One. …