Iranian Cartoonist Atena Farghadani

Iran Imprisons Cartoonist for Six Years

Tuesday, 06/11/2024

The Revolutionary Court of Tehran has handed down a six-year prison sentence to Atena Farghadani, a cartoonist targeted for her critique of the government.

According to her attorney, Mohammad Moqimi, Farghadani has been behind bars since her arrest on April 13, charged with “insulting sacred values and propagating against the ruling system". Farghadani received five years for the former and an additional year for the latter. Moqimi blasted the proceedings as a "sham trial" in a post on the X, denouncing the judiciary's manipulation of charges to secure the harshest possible sentence.

Farghadani came to a head when she was seized by security forces while attempting to display her artwork on a street wall outside Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s compound in response to the suppression of her art exhibition and the continuous harassment by security personnel. 

Post-arrest, she was subjected to torture in a Revolutionary Guard-operated safe house, before being transferred to Evin prison.

Her imprisonment has drawn criticism from global human rights entities, including PEN America, Cartooning for Peace, and the Cartoonists Rights Network International, which have collectively decried her arrest and the punitive actions against her, urging for her immediate release.

The crackdown on artists has worsened since the 2022 uprising with some even receiving the death penalty, as seen in the recent case of Toomaj Salehi, a dissident rapper who is now on death row.

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