Iranian artist jailed for 12 years for drawing satirical cartoons now faces ‘indecency’ charges… because she shook her male lawyer’s hand
Artist Atena Farghadani, 29, serving 12 year sentence for satirical cartoons
Drew politicians who restricted women’s access to birth control as animals
She and lawyer Mohammad Moghimi charged after shaking hands in prison
An Iranian woman sentenced to more than 12 years in prison for drawing satirical cartoons of politicians is now facing new charges – for shaking a man’s hand.
Artist Atena Farghadani, 29, is currently serving a long stretch behind bars as punishment for depicting government officials, who decided to restrict women’s access to birth control, as animals.
However, both Ms Farghadani and her lawyer Mohammad Moghimi have since been charged with having an ‘illegitimate sexual relationship short of adultery’ and ‘indecent conduct’ because they shook hands in prison following the trial, according to Amnesty International.
Jailed: Atena Farghadani, 29, is serving 12 years in prison after drawing satirical cartoons of Iranian politicians
Ms Farghadani’s was on trial in May at Tehran’s so-called Revolutionary Court on charges of insulting members of parliament through paintings, gathering and colluding against national security, spreading propaganda against the system and insulting the president and the supreme leader.
She was sentenced to 12 years and nine months in jail last month. Experts believe this far exceeds the legal limit for such a crime, which currently stands at seven years and six months.
But Amnesty International says she now faces new charges.
Mr Moghimi visited Ms Farghadani in prison after her trial and shook her hand, which has resulted in the two new charges being brought against them both, the human rights organisation has reported.
The lawyer was arrested on June 13 and he was released three days later after posting bail of around £40,000. They are set to be tried for those charges in due course.
Ms Farghadani was initially arrested during a Revolutionary Guard raid on her home last August.
It’s claimed the guards burst into her home, blindfolded her, seized her personal belongings and then hauled her off to Tehran’s notorious Evin Prison.
She was kept in solitary confinement with no access to a lawyer or her family, according to Amnesty International.
The artist was bailed for a short time last November, but was quickly returned to jail after being accused of openly discussing the torture and beatings she suffered at the hands of the wardens.
Ms Farghadani even went as far as to publish a YouTube video discussing her treatment in prison, which included being interrogated for nine hours each day for six weeks and being beaten.
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