Open Letter: Cartoonists Rights Network Urges Release of Young Iranian Artist
Open Letter: Cartoonists Rights Network Urges Release of Young Iranian Artist
18 September 2015 by Editor

"Your Excellencies:

We understand Iranian artist Atena Farghadani has been sentenced to 12 years and 9 months in prison, her appeal to take place within twenty days, and with regards to that appeal would hope you take the following into consideration."

In an open letter – addressed Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani, Head of Judiciary Ayatollah Sadeq Larijani and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif – the Executive Director of Cartoonists Rights Network International, Dr. Robert Russell, urges the Iranian leaders to reconsider the sentence of Atena Farghadani, a young Iranian artist serving a prison term for drawing a cartoon.

"We are particularly concerned that that right to freedom of opinion and expression through the drawing of a cartoon should be attacked by the Iranian authorities, especially since — as noted by Atena Farghadani’s lawyer — “activities on social networks on the Internet [in Iran] are not recognized as crimes"," the letter says. 

The letter also points out that many human rights organizations as well as the United Nations have expressed concerns about the arrest and detention of Atena Farghadani, and it ends with a call on the Iranian leaders to reconsider the sentence:

"To inform the world that Iran, as with fellow co-signatories, is complying with the Articles of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, it would be hoped that you would reconsider the sentence on appeal, and that the conviction and sentence would be quashed. The world looks on — hoping Iran will, in good faith, free Atena Farghadani in this era of international co-operation — and in so doing prove that Iran is indeed a supporter of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, along with other internationally accepted human rights, a vital condition and component within this new era of international co-operation that we are hopefully heading towards."

Read the full letter via CRNI.

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