Cartoonist Atena Farghadani (pictured) has been condemned to six years in prison by a Revolutionary Court in Iran.

Attorney Mohammad Moqimi said Farghadani received five years for “insulting sacred beliefs” and a year for “propaganda against the state”.

The activist has already served 18 months for “assembly and collusion”, “propaganda activities against the state,” and “insulting the leadership and the President”.

She was detained last year after she was summoned by the prosecutor’s office in Tehran’s Evin Prison. In April, she was arrested as she tried to display one of her cartoons outside the Supreme Leader’s compound in Tehran. Moqimi reported that she was beaten, losing consciousness for several hours and leaving an interrogation with visible facial injuries.

Refusing to accept the “arbitrary” bail set for her detention, Farghadani was transferred to Qarchak prison near Tehran, infamous for its harsh conditions.

In August 2015, Farghadani was presented with the Courage In Cartooning Award by Cartoonists Rights Network International.


Activist Fatemeh Sepehri has been sentenced to an additional 18 1/2 years in prison for “supporting Israel”.

The punishment is for her condemnation of the killing of about 1,200 people inside Israel by Gazan organization Hamas last October 7.

A Revolutionary Court in Mashhad condemned Sepehri to seven years for supporting Israel; seven years for conspiring against internal security; three years for insulting the Supreme Leader, and one year and six months for propaganda activities against the regime.

Sepehri, who suffers from a heart ailment, now faces a cumulative prison term of 37 1/2 years.

The activist was arrested in September 2022 amid the nationwide “Woman, Life, Freedom” protests sparked by the death in police custody of Mahsa Amini, 22, who was detained and reportedly beaten by “morality police” for “inappropriate attire”.

Sepehri’s brother Mohammad-Hossein has been sentenced to eight years for conspiracy, assembly, and insulting the Supreme Leader. Her brother Hossein faces 2 years and 11 months over related charges. The attorney for all three Sephehris, Khosrow Alikordi, is also detained.


French national Louis Arnaud (pictured), detained by Iran’s authorities since September 2022 and sentenced to five years in prison, has been freed.

Arnaud landed at Le Bourget airport outside Paris on Thursday. He was greeted by French Foreign Minister Stéphane Séjourné and then embraced his parents and linked arms with his relatives.

Séjourné said, “I am very glad to welcome one of our hostages who was indeed held arbitrarily in Iran.” He emphaszied that “our diplomatic service is still at work” to free three other French citizens: Jacques Paris, Cecile Koller, and a man named only as Olivier.

Arnaud, 36, set off in July 2022 on a round-the-world trip. His mother Sylvie said Iran was “a country he had long dreamed of visiting for the richness of its history and its welcoming people”.

Arnaud was seized two months later amid Iran’s nationwide “Woman, Life, Freedom” protests, sparked by the death in police custody of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini after she was detained and reportedly beaten by “morality police”.

The consultant was sentenced in November 2023 on charges of propaganda and harming Iranian state security.

Using political prisoners as leverage in negotiations, Iranian officials have detained a series of foreign and dual nationals, including those of France.


Frenchman Benjamin Brière, held since May 2020, and French-Irish national Bernard Phelan were freed by Iran in May 2023 for “humanitarian reasons”. French-Iranian academic Fariba Adelkhah was freed in October 2023 after 4 years and 4 months.

They had already been replaced by Kohler and Paris, arrested in Tehran in May 2022 as they were concluding a sightseeing holiday.

See also “I Saw My Sister Forced To Say She Was A Spy on Iranian TV”