Iranian cartoonist Atena Farghadani sentenced to 6 years in prison

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Originally published by Cartooning for Peace.

We are dismayed to learn that the Iranian activist, artist, and cartoonist Atena Farghadani has been sentenced to a total of six years in prison; five years for “insulting the sacred” and one year for “propaganda against the State”. This sentence was handed down by the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Revolutionary Court on Monday, June 10, as confirmed by lawyer Mohammad Moghimi via social media. The maximum penalties are indicative of the Iranian regime’s long-standing determination to persecute and silence this courageous rights defender.

Atena Farghadani had been detained since April 13 2024 after attempting to display a drawing in a public space, not far from the presidential palace in Tehran. Over the past decade, she has been regularly monitored and harassed due to her art and activities opposing the repression of rights in Iran, especially those of women and children.

Previously jailed in 2014-16, and again for a short period last summer, Atena Farghadani risks coming to harm within the penal system. In 2023 she alleged an attempted poisoning. At the time of her arrest this year she reported that she suffered severe injuries from Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) personnel.

Artwork by Atena Farghadani was recently exhibited in Norway, at the sixteenth Oslo Forum for Freedom (OFF) organized by the Human Rights Foundation, dedicated to “reclaiming democracy”. In the presence of human rights defenders from around the world, Atena Farghadani’s representative Mohammad Moghimi ensured that her voice was heard, a voice that is both brave and righteous, and is targeted because she dares to defy oppression and injustice in her country.

Our organizations call for her immediate release and that she be returned to her family unharmed.

Signatories:
Africartoons
Artists at Risk Connection (ARC)
Association of Canadian Cartoonists
Cartooning for Peace
Cartoon Movement
Cartoonists Rights
Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ)
Forum for Humor and the Law
Freedom Cartoonists Foundation
Freemuse
Index on Censorship
Professional Cartoonists’ Organisation

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European Cartoon Award 2024

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The European Press Prize and Studio Europa Maastricht announce the opening of the European Cartoon Award 2024, the prize for excellence in editorial cartoons.

From April 29 to June 2, 2024, editorial cartoonists will be able to submit their work for the fifth edition of the European Cartoon Award. Submitted cartoons must have had their first publication date between June 2, 2023, and June 2, 2024, with a media outlet from a country within the Council of Europe, plus Belarus, and Russia.

Founded in 2019, by the European Press Prize and Studio Europa Maastricht, the European Cartoon Award has one of the highest monetary prizes for cartoonists, granting its winner a prize of 10,000 euros.

For more information and to submit your work, go here: europeancartoonaward.com


Western Balkans media freedom cartoon competition: exhibition & winners

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In January we launched a cartoon competition, together with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, in the six countries that make up the Western Balkans: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro North Macedonia and Serbia.

Out of a total of 186 submissions from 95 artists, a jury of journalism and comic professionals selected 44 works for a cartoon exhibition on media freedom. You can see all the submissions (and more info on the jury members) on our project page.The jury was also tasked with picking a winner and a runner-up. They decided to award first prize to Dušan Petričić from Serbia, with a caricature of Serbian president Vučić. The jury was impressed by the style and execution of the cartoon and the fact that the artist needed no words to convey a clear message. The cartoon also has universal appeal; if you do not know who Vučić is, you will most likely still understand the visual message.

 

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The winning cartoon by Dušan Petričić

 

Second place was awarded to Armend Ajredini from North Macedonia. Armend is an editorial illustrator for Gazeta, a publication in Kosovo. The jury complimented his clear style. They were also happy to see journalists presented not as victims, but as professionals that can alter the status qua with the work that they do.

 

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The cartoon that won second place, by Armend Ajredini

 

Although not part of the official awards, the jury also decided to give a special mention to Anastasija Visekruna, a 16-year old artist Bosnia and Herzegovina. Although the message in the image might not be as straightforward as in the winning cartoons, the visual intrigued the judges and sparked debate about the meaning of the drawing. The goal of a cartoonist is to create an interesting image that will make people think; in that, Anastasija certainly succeeded.

 

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A special mention was awarded to this cartoon by Anastasija Visekruna

 

The exhibition is on display in the six countries of the Western Balkans in April and May. Here below are some impressions of the exhibitions.

 

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Podgorica - Montenegro

 

Montenegro 1
Podgorica - Montenegro

 

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Skopje - North Macedonia

 

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Belgrade - Serbia

 

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Belgrade - Serbia