Target: President of Iran, Hassan Rouhani
Goal: Release women’s rights activist from Evin prison.
Atena Farghadani, 28, is being charged with spreading propaganda against the government, insulting members of the Iranian parliament through her paintings, and insulting the supreme leader. She is currently being held in Evin prison, which is notorious for its harsh conditions.
Farghadani is being imprisoned because of an image that she painted that depicts the members of the Iranian parliament as monkeys voting. She drew this in response to two bills that are currently being considered in Parliament which will restrict access to contraceptives and tighten divorce laws if passed. The laws in Iran already favor men, particularly divorce laws, and Farghadani wanted to depict the injustice through her work. Many activists favor the side of Farghadani and agree that the laws would reinforce discrimination against women and limit their rights.
The first time Farghadani was arrested on similar grounds, she was held in solitary confinement for two weeks without any access to a lawyer or her family. She was released, but arrested again after she spoke up about how the guards abused her in prison. She alleges that the guards made her take off her clothes, physically abused her, and conducted unnecessary body searches.
Farghadani had her initial court hearing on May 19, and the judge declared that they would come back with a ruling between a week and 20 days. This could mean weeks of abuse and the potential of years in prison. Although Iran has claimed that they do not jail people for their opinions, it is evident that they do. Please support this petition to free Atena Farghadani and to promote freedom of opinion and expression in Iran.
Dear President Rouhani,
Atena Farghadani is currently being held in Evin prison and facing charges for spreading propaganda against the government, insulting members of the Iranian parliament through her paintings, and insulting the supreme leader. She has been held in this prison before and experienced extreme abuse, and it is unknown what could be happening to her now.
Farghadani painted to express her thoughts. She wanted to express her feelings toward the bills in Parliament that will limit the freedom of women. She did not hurt or harm anyone, and was only expressing her beliefs. I urge you to free Farghadani and to drop all charges and to cease imprisoning citizens for their opinions.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Ehsan Iran