Iranian artist Atena Farghadani faced a judge on Tuesday for drawing a cartoon of members of Iran’s parliament and posting it on Facebook. For that, the 28 year old was arrested and beaten repeatedly during her incarceration.
The cartoon in question — depicting Iranian ministers as animals, drawn to protest a bill in which access to birth control would be limited — resulted in a visit from the Iranian Revolutionary Guards last August and her arrest.
Among the charges laid against her following the authorities seizing her property: spreading propaganda, insulting Iranian MPs, and insulting Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei.
While in the infamous Evin Prison, Farghadani continued to draw and paint in protest, using the prison’s paper cups as her canvas. When the guards found out, according to Amnesty International, they confiscated her paintings and stopped giving her cups.
“When Atena found some cups in the bathroom, she smuggled them into her cell,” Amnesty says. “Soon after, she was beaten by prison guards, when she refused to strip naked for a full body search.”
Farghadani was briefly released in November, but was arrested just six weeks later after giving interviews and posting a video on YouTube about her time in prison.
Farghadani went on a hunger strike shortly after being rearrested and was hospitalized for heart issues soon thereafter. She’s been held in solitary confinement in Evin since late February.
If convicted, according to the BBC, the sentence could be up to to two years’ imprisonment and lashes.
Hayes Brown is a world news editor and reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Washington, D.C.
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