Free Artist Zehra Dogan, sentenced to jail in Turkey for exposing the horrors of war

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The Turkish-Kurdish painter and journalist Zehra Doğan has been sentenced to 2 years, nine months, and 22 days in prison for creating a painting which depicted the destruction caused by Turkish security forces in the Nusaybin district of Mardin province, a Kurdish region in Turkey.

“I was given two years and 10 months [jail time] only because I painted Turkish flags on destroyed buildings. However, [the Turkish government] caused this. I only painted it,” Doğan said.

Art has always been a bastion of independent critical thinking It has help us, as a society, to overcome some of the most terrible times in history. Since Goya and the "Horrors of War" the voice of the artist has been one of life affirming against the inherent nihilism of war. Zehra Dogan has been truthful to that lineage of brave artists. She, alone with her brush, depicted the destruction caused by Turkey in a Kurdish village and in response to her bravery the Turkish government decided to throw her in jail.

I ask anyone, artist, gallery or whatever you are, anyone who enjoys some basic freedoms such as the right to speak truth to power to help us raise awareness of her situation before she falls into oblivion.

The world needs women like Zehra and we as "the world" need to help her to save that what dignifies us as human beings: bravery, honesty and compassion.

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