Iranian artist-activist Atena Farghadani, who has been on a hunger strike in Gharchak Prison south of Tehran since February 9, 2015, is in precarious medical condition according to her lawyer, as reported by Amnesty International. “Her life is now literally in the hands of the Iranian authorities. She must receive the urgent medical care she needs,” Farghadani’s lawyer says. Both her lawyer and Amnesty Internatonal are calling for the artist’s immediate and unconditional release.
Farghadani began her hunger strike to protest her continued incarceration for her political views, advocacy work and art. She was arrested on January 10, 2015, by her country’s Revolutionary Guard on charges of “propoganda against the regime,” “insult to representatives of the parliament by means of cartoons,” and “insult to the Iranian Revolutionary Guards and the three branches of government during the course of interrogation”.
The cartoon in question reportedly depicted suited apes and boars casting voting on legislation and, according to Amnesty International, “was critical of members of the parliament for considering a bill that sought to criminalize voluntary sterilization as part of a larger plan to restrict access to contraception and family planning services.”