The cartoon depicts members of Iranian parliament as various animals (a grand tradition in political cartooning to be sure) voting on a law prohibiting access to contraception and vasectomies.
By American editorial cartoon standards this wouldn’t be a particularly controversial cartoon. However, Farghadani is being charged with “spreading propaganda against the system; insulting members of parliament through paintings; and insulting the supreme leader.”
If found guilty she could be sentenced to two years or more in prison.
She was first arrested last August and held in solitary confinement in the Evin prison where she was interrogated and beaten. She was released and rearrested after publicly describing her prison time in interviews and on the internet.
This isn’t a singular event—cartoonists are censored, detained, arrested, beaten, tortured and killed around the world for drawing funny pictures (and please note: I’m not talking about terrorist attacks; I’m describing actions that are perpetrated by the cartoonist's own governments). I monitor this stuff and it happens every month, maybe ever week, in Malaysia, South Africa, Turkey, Ecuador, Tunisia, India, Honduras, Syria….
Here’s a couple links for more info:
Comic Book Defense League:
Cartoonist Rights Network International:
Globally, it’s dangerous work being a cartoonist.
You can check out the story of American cartoonist Art Young's trial for treason in this blog's archive: Dec.17, 2013