Political Cartoon of Iranian Parliament
Artist: Atena Farghadani
Date of Action: August 2021
Region: Middle East
Subject: Political/Economic/Social Opinion
Confronting Bodies: Iranian authorities
Description of Artwork: The cartoon at the center of the controversy is an image of apes and boars in suits voting on legislation that rescinds women's rights in Iran by restricting access to contraception and criminalizing voluntary sterilization
The Incident: In August of 2014, members of Iran's Revolutionary Guard stormed artist Atena Farghadani's home and imprisoned her. She was arrested for the cartoon she posted to Facebook.
In prison, Atena also painted on flattened paper cups available in the prison. Her drawings in prison were confiscated, and she was beaten for drawing on paper cups she smuggled out of the prison bathrooms.
After her release in November of 2014, she was rearrested six weeks later, in January of 2015. The conjecture is that she was rearrested for the media talks on the prison conditions which she gave during her release.
Results of Incident: Atena suffered a heart attack in February of 2015 as a result of a hunger strike she held in prison. She has since stopped her hunger strike, but her health remains precarious.
On May 19, 2015, Atena was tried and sentenced to 12 years and 9 months in prison.
She was imprisoned for 18 months. Amnesty International considers her a prisoner of conscience. She was released May 3rd 2016.