Iran Arrests Cartoonist Again, Group of Journalists Call for His Release

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Iranian authorities have summoned and arrested a cartoonist who has a history of imprisonment for political posts on her Instagram account, her lawyer said Friday.

Mohammad Moghimi said in a tweet that his client, Atena Farghadani, a painter, designer and former political prisoner, was summoned to the Evin courthouse in Tehran and arrested. He did not specify why she was being held.

In 2016, Farghadani was released after spending 18 months in prison for portraying lawmakers as animals for criticizing a bill restricting contraception and criminalizing voluntary sterilization.

On Wednesday, Farghadani posted one of his cartoons showing people with animalistic and satanic faces.

The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists said Thursday that Iranian authorities must release Farghadani and cease efforts to silence commentators and members of the press.

“This cycle of journalists and commentators through the prison is a continuation of the authorities’ longstanding revolving door policy and a hallmark of Iran’s failure to uphold the rule of law,” said Sherif Mansour, coordinator of CPJ’s Middle East and North Africa program.

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