12 Years in Prison for a Cartoon

Atena FarghadaniAtena Farghadani, an Iranian artist and activist has been reportedly senteced to 12 years and nine months in prison for a caricature she drew lampooning a debate about a bill that would ban some forms of contraception. She was charged with “insulting members of parliament through paintings.”

The bill Farghadani lampooned would ban voluntary sterilization procedures such as vasectomies and tubal ligations in an effort to reverse Iran’s falling birthrate.

Atena-Farghadani-Cartoon-375x230The artist posted a video on YouTube where she described beatings, strip searches, and threats from guards. In January, she went on a hunger strike in prison, and suffered a heart attack three weeks later. She has also be beaten just for speaking out about her mistreatment.

An appeal is in the works.

This case is just one of the numerous examples of cartoonists being jailed or attacked for doing their jobs and expressing free speech.

(via CBLDF, Washington Post)