NMA collection record

'David Hicks' cartoon by Jonathan Bentley, Courier Mail, 2006


This is a colour cartoon by Jonathan Bentley commenting on the incarceration of David Hicks by US military forces at Guantanamo Bay. It shows David Hicks wearing an orange Guantanamo Bay prison uniform gagged with an Australian flag and blindfolded with a US flag. Further information is available for this resource.

Educational value

Jonathan Bentley was born in Victoria in 1965. He graduated from Brighton Polytechnic in England in 1989 and began work as a freelance illustrator, publishing in the Independent, the Observer and New Scientist. He joined the Courier-Mail in 1997.

David Hicks is an Australian who is suspected of undertaking combat training in al Qaeda-linked camps. He was arrested by the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan in 2001 and handed to US forces on suspicion of serving with the ruling Taliban regime. He was then detained by the US Government in Guantanamo Bay until 2007, when he became the first to be tried and convicted under the US Military Commissions Act of 2006. Hicks's treatment, the evidence tendered against him, his trial outcome and the newly created legal system under which he was prosecuted all drew widespread criticism and political controversy.

Political cartoons have a long history in Australia, and remain one of the most popular forms of political commentary. Though caricatures and satirical illustrations appeared in some of Australia's earliest newspapers, it was not until the 1830s that they became a frequent and respectable feature of the print media. Publications such as the Melbourne Punch, the Sydney Punch and the Bulletin featured both caricatures and cartoons, and it was through these publications that political cartoons became a popular element of the Australian press.

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