Iran, 12 years and 9 months in prison for Atena Farghadani for satirical illustration

Iran, 12 years and 9 months in prison for Atena Farghadani for satirical illustration

The 28-year-old activist and painter Atena Farghadani was arrested in Iran on 23 August 2014.

Her "crime", in the eyes of the Iranian judiciary, was to depict members of parliament with the heads of different animals.


Illustration by Atena Farghadani posted on Facebook

These MPs are currently working on a plan to criminalise voluntary sterilisation, as part of a more ambitious project to restrict access to family planning.

She ended up in Evin prison (Tehran) where she spent almost two months, according to her family she was held in solitary confinement for 15 days without the possibility of being able to communicate with a lawyer or her family, she was released on bail on 6 November 2014.

However, on 10 January 2015 she was re-arrested and, according to her family, beaten again before being returned to prison. In December 2014, Atani publicly denounced in a video that she had been beaten by prison guards and interrogated for more than nine hours a day for six weeks.

She is accused of "spreading propaganda against the system", "insulting members of parliament by painting" and "insulting the supreme leader" as well as her interrogators.

Atena started a hunger strike in early February, while receiving support from Amnesty International and other groups and individuals, to demand her transfer from Gharchak prison to Evin prison, as this prison holds most of the people imprisoned for political or ideological reasons. In March/April (?) 2015 he was transferred.

Her trial was scheduled for 19 May 2015.

Atena Farghadani was sentenced by the Tehran Revolutionary Court to 12 years and 9 months imprisonment (although here it is 7 and a half years) for, among other things, publishing a cartoon as a form of protest against the birth control law, which also makes divorce even more difficult.

The illustration, in which Iran's parliamentarians were shown with animal heads, was posted on Farghadani's Facebook page.

Article 9 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights(ICCPR), to which Iran is a party, states that no one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest or detention. Detention is considered arbitrary when a person is deprived of his or her liberty for exercising the rights and freedoms guaranteed in this covenant.

I have tried to follow the reaction of cartoonists and I have collected 16 cartoons from cartoonists from 10 countries. I did not find any cartoons by Spanish cartoonists. Unless I have not been able to locate them, I think only I drew something. Act.(now it's two cartoons).

It seems that this case is "far away" from us, either the cartoonists haven't had much news about it or it hasn't been considered a hot topic. In any case, I am a bit saddened.


naricesAmnesty International's Call for Action

naricesOpen letter to the President of Iran calling for the release of Atena Faghadani, from CRNI (Cartoonists Rights Network International)

naricesUpdate 10/06/2015: From The Washington Post, Michael Cavna issues a call for artists in support of Atena Farghadani. And they've called it #Draw4Atena - Gallery

narices 18 June 2015. Gallery with some more vignettes in The Guardian

narices 31 August 2015: Tumbrl to submit vignettes:

narices 11 September 2015: According to this website, citing Amnesty International as a source, Athena has been charged with "indecency" and adultery for shaking hands with her lawyer. Source

Others, such as ABC, cite the British newspaper The Independent as a source. Another piece of information that remains quarantined.

narices 20 January 2016: According to Cartoonists Rights Network International Atena has been acquitted of charges of "indecent behaviour" but her 12-year sentence remains in place.

narices28 March 2016. In March, pro-democracy organisations in Iran reported thatAtena Farghadani 's father and others were beaten by police at a rally/vigil outside Evin Prison in Tehran. Source

naricesRelated vignettes gallery.


Author: Kianoush Ramezani, Iranian cartoonist exiled in France


Author: Aaron Guile. Utah(USA)


Author: Michel Cambon(France)


Terreur Graphique, cartoonist of Liberation(France)


Author: Maarten Wolterink(Netherlands)


Author: Shahrokh Heidari(Iran)


Author: Shahrokh Heidari, Iranian cartoonist based in Paris Source: IranWire


Author: Tjeerd Royaards(Netherlands)


Author: Mohammad Saba'anehh (Palestine) additional info


Author: Mana Neyestani (Iran)


Author:@comicsusz(Germany) (?)


Author: Badiucao, cartoonist at China Digital Times(China)


Author: Pat Bagley, cartoonist at The Salt Lake Tribune Utah,(USA)


Author: David Pope, cartoonist at The Canberra Times(Australia)


Author: Oksana Vaskiv-Kukul, "Mediacomics" (Ukraine)


Author: Ruben Bolling -Twitter - Wk (USA) - published on BoingBoing


Author: Michael Cavna. The Washington Post (USA)


Author: Tom Racine - Twitter(USA)


Author: Kianoush Ramezaniiranian cartoonist exiled in France


Author: Ed Hall(USA)


Author: Gavin Aung Than(Australia) See full comic on his website.


Author: Kate Parkinson(Canada)



Author: Tim Wilson(USA)


Author: Steve Artley (USA)


Author: Myths


Author: Mark Streeter(USA)

naricesUpdate 14/06/2015: According to the Iranian HRANA ( Human Rights Activists News Agency), Mohammad Moghimi, Atena Farghadani's lawyer, has been arrested and taken to prison from Raja'i Shahr.

For the moment I quarantine the imprisonment until it can be confirmed by more and/or closer sources.


Author: Tom Wilson(USA)


Another allusive cartoon by Mana Neyestani(Iran) on IranWire


Author: Sara Qaed , Barhein, resident in Newcastle(UK)


Author: Juan Pedro Benítez(Spain)


Author: Steve Bright(England)


Author: Martin Rowson(England)


Author: Giunaluca Constantini(Italy)


Author: Franco Bianco(Italy)


Author: Anne Derenne, Adene(France/Spain)

naricesUpdate 03/05/2016 Atena is released from prison, coincidentally or not, coinciding with World Press Freedom Day.

Related, other cases from different countries:


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