Region: The Middle East
Subject: Political/Economic/Social Opinion
Medium: Painting, Print Journalism
Artist: Manouchehr Karimzadeh
Confronting Bodies: the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran
Dates of Action: April 1992
Description of Artwork: Manouchehr Karimzadeh is a cartoonist for the scientific revue Farad. In 1992 he illustrated a piece for an article that criticized the state sport in Iran. The illustration was of a soccer player who slightly resembles the political leader of the 1979 Islamic Revolution of Iran, Ayatollah Khomeini.
The Incident: On April 11, 1992, Manouchehr Karimzadeh was arrested for his illustration in an article criticizing the state of sport in Iran. Karimzadeh was accused of blasphemy and insulting the memory of the political leader of the 1979 Islamic Revolution of Iran, Ayatollah Khomeini.
Results of Incident: Karimzadeh’s first trial was conducted in secret before the Islamic Revolutionary Courts. (Revolutionary Courts are used when the authorities deem the likely punishment levied by general courts to be insufficient.). Karimzadeh and the editor of the newspaper that published the cartoon were first sentenced to one year in prison, fifty lashes and a fine. In 1993, the Supreme Court ratified the lower court's guilty finding, and sent the case back to the lower court for retrial. After the second hearing, Yazdi announced, in October, that Karimzadeh's prison sentence had been increased to 10 years.
Source: Democracy Front Line Blog and Human Rights Watch