Today, Iranian cartoonist Atena Farghadani was released from jail after spending over a year in Tehran’s Evin Prison for her satirical drawing of Iran’s policymakers as animals. The news, which arrives on World Press Freedom Day, was reported by Cartoonists Rights Network International (CRNI), which awarded Farghadani its 2015 Courage in Editorial Cartooning award.
First arrested in August 2014, Farghadani has described receiving physical and verbal abuse from prison officials while incarcerated. She had also experienced weeks of solitary confinement and gone on hunger strikes, one of which resulted in a heart attack. Most recently, a report from the UN confirmed that the artist was forced to undergo multiple virginity and pregnancy tests, allegedly to investigate “illegitimate sexual relations” that consisted of a handshake with her lawyer Mohammad Moghimi. The pair was acquitted in a trial last October.
According to CRNI, Farghadani is grateful for the support of all cartoonists, activists, and organizations toward her cause, but also expressed concern over those who remain imprisoned and largely silenced. She intends to remain in Iran and continue her work as an artist.
Article by Claire Voon