Iranian Cartoonist Atena Fargadhani sentenced to 6 Years in Prison

Thursday, June 20, 2024
Iranian Cartoonist Atena Fargadhani sentenced to 6 Years in Prison

Iranian activist, artist, and cartoonist Atena Farghadani has been sentenced to a total of six years in prison; five years for “insulting the sacred” and one year for “propaganda against the State”.

This sentence was handed down by the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Revolutionary Court on Monday, June 10, as confirmed by lawyer Mohammad Moghimi via social media. The maximum penalties are indicative of the Iranian regime’s long-standing determination to persecute and silence this courageous rights defender.

Atena Farghadani had been detained since April 13 2024 after attempting to display a drawing in a public space, not far from the presidential palace in Tehran. Over the past decade, she has been regularly monitored and harassed due to her art and activities opposing the repression of rights in Iran, especially those of women and children.

Previously jailed in 2014-16, and again for a short period last summer, Atena Farghadani risks coming to harm within the penal system. In 2023 she alleged an attempted poisoning. At the time of her arrest this year she reported that she suffered severe injuries from Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) personnel.

On April 13, Farghadani was attempting to post some of her caricature artwork in public on a wall on Pasteur Street in Tehran, near the compound of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, when she was detained by security agents from the IRGC. According to information Atena shared with her husband (when he visited her in prison on April 21) and passed on to her lawyer, she was initially taken to a so-called “safe house” run by the IRGC and was severely  beaten. She became unconscious after being struck several times on her nose and head. When she regained consciousness she found herself in the prayer room of the Fateb security police detention center. She noticed that she was missing some pieces of clothing that she had been wearing during the arrest. When they were returned to her, they were stained with blood, though they had been washed. On April 14, 2024 she was transferred to Evin court where she had a hearing on two charges: “propaganda against the state” and “insulting the sacred [the Messiah the twelfth Imam Shia].”

Artwork  by Atena Farghadani was recently exhibited in Norway, at the sixteenth Oslo Forum for Freedom (OFF) organized by the Human Rights Foundation, dedicated to “reclaiming democracy”. In the presence of human rights defenders from around the world, Atena Farghadani’s representative Mohammad Moghimi ensured that her voice was heard, a voice that is both brave and righteous, and is targeted because she dares to defy oppression and injustice in her country.

Stephanie Cime

ArtDependence WhatsApp Group

Get the latest ArtDependence updates directly in WhatsApp by joining the ArtDependence WhatsApp Group by clicking the link or scanning the QR code below


Subscribe to the Newsletter

Image of the Day

Anna Melnykova, "Palace of Labor (palats praci), architector I. Pretro, 1916", shot with analog Canon camera, 35 mm Fuji film in March 2022.

Anna Melnykova, "Palace of Labor (palats praci), architector I. Pretro, 1916", shot with analog Canon camera, 35 mm Fuji film in March 2022.


About ArtDependence

ArtDependence Magazine is an international magazine covering all spheres of contemporary art, as well as modern and classical art.

ArtDependence features the latest art news, highlighting interviews with today’s most influential artists, galleries, curators, collectors, fair directors and individuals at the axis of the arts.

The magazine also covers series of articles and reviews on critical art events, new publications and other foremost happenings in the art world.

If you would like to submit events or editorial content to ArtDependence Magazine, please feel free to reach the magazine via the contact page.