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Chinese cartoonist Rebel Pepper struggles to survive in self-imposed exile

Wang Liming, pictured in 2013, says he fears he will be arrested if he returns to China. The political cartoonist is living in Japan but says he is running out of funds
Wang Liming, pictured in 2013, says he fears he will be arrested if he returns to China. The political cartoonist is living in Japan but says he is running out of funds

Reuters/Petar Kujundzic

Excerpt of a 29 May 2015 CPJ Blog post by Sumit Galhotra, CPJ Asia Program Research Associate.

When calls for Wang Liming to be arrested were made on a forum hosted by China's state-controlled press last year, the satirical cartoonist who lampooned the Communist Party leadership decided it would be safer to stay in Japan, where he had been traveling. But while he may have avoided possible arrest, the cartoonist, known as Rebel Pepper, says he is struggling to make a living in his self-imposed exile.

"Maybe the [Communist] Party wants to admonish people one by one as examples," Wang said in a public appeal for support this month, after exhausting his savings over the past year. "If they don't throw you in jail, they'll make it impossible for you to live."

Wang's experiences of falling foul of the authority figures featured in his satirical work mirror those of other political cartoonists around the world. Earlier this month, CPJ released its special report, "Drawing the Line: Cartoonists Under Threat," which highlights how globally cartoonists are being imprisoned, forced into hiding, threatened with legal action, or killed.

Read the full blog post on CPJ's site.

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