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AI Decries Prison Time For Iranian Female Activists

Atena Farghadani (file photo)

Amnesty International says the sentencing of Iranian artist and activist Atena Farghadani to more than 12 years in prison is a "terrible injustice" and a "violation her rights to free expression and association."

The London-based group said on June 2 that Farghadani was sentenced to 12 years and nine months in prison on charges that included "insulting members of parliament through paintings."

AI Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui said, “Such harsh and unjust sentences seem to be part of a disturbing trend in Iran, where the cost of voicing peaceful dissent is escalating.”

Farghadani’s initial arrest last year is said to be linked to her image that features Iranian lawmakers depicted as animals while voting on a draft law that restricts access to contraception.

Amnesty said the case follows the sentencing last month of another Iranian woman, Atena Daemi, to more than 10 years in prison, “also on charges stemming from her peaceful activism.”

“Both are prisoners of conscience and must be freed immediately,” it added.

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