BRITISH cartoonists led by Martin Rowson gave a standing ovation in solidarity with detained Turkish cartoonist Musa Kart, who faces who faces jail for sedition.
The tribute was paid on Tuesday night at the annual Cartoon Art Trust awards held at the Mall Galleries in central London.
British Cartoonists’ Association chairman Mr Rowson reminded the 160 people attending the awards dinner that at the end of a turbulent year for both Britain and the world, it was “more important than ever to fight for the freedom to laugh in order to stop us all going mad in the face of events.”
Mr Kart was among journalists from the opposition newspaper Cumhuriyet rounded up by the Turkish authorities last month accused of crimes in support of forces behind the July coup attempt against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
After paying tribute to the cartoonists murdered in the offices of Charlie Hebdo magazine, Mr Rowson told the audience of cartoonists, politicians, journalists and cartoon fans about the plight of Mr Kart, who faces up to 43 years in prison.
He then invited everyone to stand and applaud Mr Kart as an act of solidarity and support for “the twin freedoms of speech and laughter” — which the whole room did for several minutes.