Read a rundown of what’s been happening with Lebanon’s Samandal magazine in The Guardian and find the magazine’s crowdfunding campaign at Indiegogo:
A Lebanese satirical comic last week threw what may prove to be either its final launch party – or the first of its resurrection. The event marked Samandal magazine’s attempt to crowdfund its way out of oblivion after three of its editors were convicted of crimes against religion and fined for their work, nearly putting the experimental comics collective out of business.
For five years, editors of the Beirut-based magazine kept fairly quiet about their legal troubles.
In 2010, editors Omar Khouri, Hatem Imam, and Fadi Baki were charged with “inciting sectarian strife”, “denigrating religion”, “publishing false news” and “defamation and slander” for two comics that appeared in the seventh issue of Samandal.
“Our lawyer said that this was an absurd case and we’d definitely win it in court,” Baki told the Guardian by email. “He wasn’t too excited about having the media publicising it because he didn’t want it to affect what he thought would be an easy decision for the judges.”
The case dragged on for five years, after which the three were surprised to be found guilty. Within two weeks, they’d lost an appeal.