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Indian cartoonist held on sedition charges, sparking backlash

Published on Sep 10, 2012 1:56 PM

MUMBAI (AFP) - Indian police on Monday questioned a cartoonist on charges of sedition over a series of cartoons which lampooned the government's corruption record, including one that depicted parliament as a giant toilet bowl.

The arrest of Aseem Trivedi, a freelance artist, triggered widespread condemnation from media and anti-graft activists who said it was evidence of a lack of respect for freedom of expression.

"If telling the truth makes me a traitor then I am one," Trivedi said outside the court where he was remanded in police custody on Sunday after a private complaint from a Mumbai-based lawyer. "If I am booked under sedition for doing service to the nation then I will continue to do so."

The government has recently been criticised for blocking Internet content in an attempt to calm ethnic tensions in Bangalore and other cities. Some Twitter accounts that ridiculed Prime Minister Manmohan Singh were also blocked in the crackdown.

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