Iranian misogynic regime has arbitrarily sent Atena Farghadani, a young caricaturist, to court on October 3 to issue another verdict against her and bring her under added pressure.Entangled with crisis within the government as Iran deal aftermaths and crisis, this regime has had no choice but resorting to more vigorous domestic repression to avoid any eruption of popular uprising. The objective is to terrify the public and repulse the people’s demand for freedom, democracy and social welfare as an outcome of the Iran deal. This is summed up in escalation of public hangings, extensive arrests, harassment of women for violating the regime designed veiling dresses or having make-up in public. This compulsion includes even those in prison passing their terms.
Ms. Farghadani’s instance is one of these cases that Iran has resorted to. She has been in prison since January 2015 for her cartoon of regime’s parliamentarians. The Iranian regime is ludicrously alleging that she has “illegitimate sub-adultery relationship” with her lawyer for shaking hands with him.
In a statement one day prior to the sham court, Amnesty International said: “The trial of satirical cartoonist Atena Farghadani and her lawyer on a charge of ‘illegitimate sexual relations falling short of adultery’ after they shook hands is not only absurd and extreme but clearly politically motivated… Both Atena Farghadani, whom Amnesty International regards as , and her lawyer Mohammad Moghimi may face up to 99 lashes if found guilty. The organization believes the cartoonist and activist has been detained solely for exercising her right to freedom of expression.”
Atena Farghadani was first arrested in August 2014 for drawing a cartoon depicting Iranian regime’s parliamentarians as animals who ratify misogynic laws. This cartoon was published after laws were adopted to increase the population as envisioned and ordered by the regime’s supreme leader. She was released in two months on bail. After her release, she posted a video on YouTube where she described mistreatment and aggression against women in the regime’s prisons.
Ms. Farghadani was once again arrested in January 2015 on the charge of “assembling and collaborating against national security”, “propaganda activity against the system” and “insulting the supreme leader, President, parliamentarians, and agents in IRGC Ward 2A during interrogation” and was condemned to 12 years and 9 months in prison. This female cartoonist won the “Cartoonists Rights Network International” Award for Courage in Editorial Cartooning on September 5, 2015.
While the world is now concentrated on the crisis in this region, the efforts must be directed to the issue of human rights in Iran to support the Iranian people struggle against this atrocious regime. This of course will have its effective impact on solving the crisis in the Middle East which are predominantly pumped into the region by Iran. Moreover, World must condemn the absurd and dirty charge of the Iranian regime against Ms. Atena Farghadani and her lawyer and all human rights and women’s rights institutions and defenders of freedom of expression must act to gain the freedom of this young Iranian caricaturist.
Pejman Amiri a human rights activist writing for peace and democracy in Iran