New Banksy work protests jailing of Turkish artist

NEW YORK (AP) — British graffiti artist Banksy has created a New York mural protesting the imprisonment of a Turkish artist and journalist.

Zehra Dogan, an ethnic Kurd, was jailed after painting the Turkish flag flying over the rubble of a destroyed town.

According to human rights advocacy group PEN International, Dogan was convicted in March 2017 of “propagandizing for a terrorist organization.” It says Dogan argued at her trial that painting a real-life event based upon a photo taken and disseminated by the Turkish military was part of her work as a journalist.

Banksy’s 70-foot-long mural consists of black tally marks representing Dogan’s days in a Turkish prison. Dogan is shown jailed behind one set of marks, grasping one that’s transformed into a large pencil. A lower corner of the mural bears the slogan “Free Zehra Dogan.”

The work is installed on the Houston Bowery Wall, made famous by Keith Haring in the late 1970s.

“One year ago Zehra Dogan was jailed for painting this watercolour of a photograph she saw in the newspaper. Protest against this injustice…” Banky said on Instragram. “Sentenced to nearly three years in jail for painting a single picture. #FREEzehradogan.”

The mural was created in collaboration with “Borf,” an artist who has served jail time for his graffiti, according to Banksy’s publicist.

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