Cartoonist Masud Shojaei denied Serbian visa allegedly over Holocaust denial exhibits 

August 9, 2021 - 18:37

TEHRAN – Iranian cartoonist Masud Shojaei-Tabatabai has said that Serbia has refused to give him a visa allegedly over his Holocaust denial exhibitions.

Speaking to the Persian service of MNA on Sunday, he said that he had been invited to preside on the jury of the 21st Kragujevac Salon of Antiwar Cartoon in Serbia.   

He also said that the organizers had sent him a plane ticket to Serbia and made all arrangements for his attendance at the event, however, the embassy said that I had no chance to get a visa to enter the country.  

“I was very badly treated by the staff at the entrance to the Embassy of Serbia in Tehran today,” Shojaei-Tabatabai said.

“They refused to give any explanation and even didn’t allow me to enter the embassy,” he added.

“For me, paying respect for an Iranian is more valuable than anything and, due to the Holocaust issues and political reasons, I expected such treatment,” Shojaei-Tabatabai noted.

He announced to the organizers of the antiwar cartoon exhibition his readiness to collaborate with them online.

Shojaei-Tabatabai has previously organized the International Holocaust Cartoon Contest in two editions in collaboration with the Art Bureau of the Islamic Ideology Dissemination Organization.

The second edition of the contest took place in 2016 after a ten-year hiatus as he said, “We do not seek to deny the Holocaust but mean to portray the oppression of the Palestinians and say that we believe the Zionist regime has been the root of all the difficulties the Palestinians have been through.”

In 2017, he was named the Islamic Revolution Artist of the Year by the Art Bureau for his efforts to organize the International Holocaust Cartoons Contest. 

Following French President Emmanuel Macron’s defense of the insulting cartoons on the Prophet Muhammad (S) in October 2020, Shojaei-Tabatabai announced his plan to organize another edition of the exhibition in the response to the Macron’s remarks.

As the director of the Art Bureau’s Visual Arts Office, he also organized the Palestine Is Not Alone International Cartoon, Caricature and Poster Contest in April.

“Since we started running international cartoon contests about Palestine and the Holocaust, the Israeli media has stated that we are denying the Holocaust. However, we have never denied it. We simply have asked why the Palestinian people should be made to pay the price for the Holocaust,” he said at that time.

Photo: Art Bureau’s Visual Arts Center director Masud Shojaei-Tabatabai poses at an exhibition for the Palestine Is Not Alone International Cartoon, Caricature and Poster Contest at Abolfazl Aali Gallery in Tehran on April 12, 2021.

MMS/YAW

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