Amnesty report remembers another Iranian prisoner, on trial for a handshake
Iranian cartoonist Atena Farghadani, 29, was jailed earlier this year for posting a political comic on her Facebook page. (Twitter)
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Just days after an Iranian court convicted Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian, another closed door trial is raising alarm bells in the country. And it started with a handshake.
Twenty-nine-year-old Iranian cartoonist and civil rights activist Atena Farghadani is serving a 12.5 year sentence in Iran for comics portraying Iranian politicians as goofy animal caricatures she posted on Facebook in January. But the artist’s legal plight caught international attention when a leaked prison letter detailing her “virginity and pregnancy test” made it to the offices of Amnesty International this month.
The rights organization received the letter days after a hushed trial on Oct. 3 in which Farghadani faced charges of “non-adultery, illegitimate relations” over shaking hands with her lawyer Mohammad Moghimi during a consultation in June. The virginity test apparently followed the handshake, now the court has 2-3 weeks to decide whether she’s guilty.
Amnesty said after she’s faced repeated harassment from prison guards and accusations of sexual relations with her lawyer, Farghadani’s case brings Iran’s legal system to an “outrageous low.”
The news is also riling supporters on social media. Have a look at some of the responses below.
An unfair trial and 12 years in prison for 'insulting the Supreme Leader' in a painting. Help free Atena Farghadani http://t.co/uivYgMnZwR— cassianmurray (@cassianmurray1) October 13, 2015
By Elizabeth Tarbell