Atena Farghadani is jailed again, this time for pasting one of her drawings on a wall.


On Saturday 13 April 2024, Atena Farghadani, a Tehran-based cartoonist, painter and children's rights activist, was violently arrested by security forces and taken to Evin Prison. This prison is where the Iranian government often imprisons artists, academics, activists, journalists and other dissident intellectuals, and is nicknamed "Evin University".

Farghadani was reportedly arrested for attempting to paste one of her drawings on a wall on Pastor Avenue, where the presidential palace is located.

In protest against his arbitrary detention, he refused to accept bail.

As reported by NCRI Women's Committee, her lawyer, Mohammad Moqimi, reported that Atena Farghadani had been ill-treated at the time of arrest, to the extent that marks of police violence were evident on her face.

A year and a half behind bars for a drawing

Athena's "visits" to Evin prison and other prisons are frequent.

On 23 August 2014, Atena was arrested, interrogated and imprisoned on charges of"spreading propaganda against the system","insulting members of parliament through paintings" and"insulting the supreme leader" as well as her interrogators.

This was in connection with a satirical cartoon depicting a group of parliamentarians depicted as different animals. He faced up to 12 years and 9 months in prison.

Eventually, the sentence was reduced to 18 months' imprisonment in the court of review. In May 2016, she was released.

Atena Farghadani is jailed again, this time for pasting one of her drawings on a wall.
Atena Farghadani spent 18 months in prison for this illustration.

On 9 June 2023, she was re-imprisoned after refusing to accept bail of $4,200 after being summoned for questioning by the 33rd District Court. Farghadani refused to pay bail on the grounds that she had committed no crime and that her summons and charges were illegal and arbitrary, and was transferred to Qarchak women's prison outside Tehran.

On that occasion, in an interview after her release, she explained that the Qarchak prison authorities had tried to poison her. She was kept in a room without toilet facilities and was not allowed to leave the room even to go to the toilet. They also tried to force her to make confessions for television, which she refused. Finally, on 20 June 2023, she was abandoned in a hospital after becoming unconscious due to the hunger strike.

Atena Farghadani
Free Atena. Cartoon 2015.

Atena Farghadani is jailed again, this time for pasting one of her drawings on a wall.

Humour in trouble, a collection of cases
Cases of cartoonists who have had problems of some importance because of their cartoons or satirical illustrations. There are also some stories of other people who, without being cartoonists, have got into trouble for sharing them.

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