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#Draw4Atena Is Viral Protest

After Atena Farghadani, a 28 year-old Iranian artist, was sentenced to 12 years in jail in her home country, cartoonists, artists, and activists have been posting drawings under the hashtag #Draw4Atena to protest her incarceration.

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It started when Atena drew a cartoon and posted it to Facebook.

In it she depicted Iranian parliamentary officials as animals. She was protesting the legislation that would restrict access to contraception and would make voluntary sterilization illegal.

Tjeerd Royaards / Via Twitter: @Royaards

She was blindfolded and forcibly taken to the Evin Prison in Tehran last August.

David Pope / Via Twitter: @davpope

There she began painting on flattened paper cups. Eventually, her paintings were found and confiscated and she was no longer allowed to use paper cups.

Atena began to take paper cups from the bathroom facilities to continue her painting. She was soon caught and was beaten after she refused to be strip searched.

Sunny Leete / Via

According to Amnesty International, Atena says they knew about her taking cups because they had installed cameras in the bathrooms. Detainees had not been told about these cameras.

Sara M. Gray / Via

Atena was released in November. She began to give interviews and posted videos in which she detailed the beatings she underwent, the interrogations, and the humiliating body searches.

Marcela Pinto / Via Facebook:

She was rearrested in January, possibly because she spoke out, and has been in prison ever since.

Pat Bagley / Via Twitter: @Patbagley

She went on hunger strikes to protest jail conditions. Her health deteriorated and after she suffered a heart attack she was forced to eat again.

Steve Artley / Via Twitter: @artleytoons

With just two weeks left to lodge an appeal, cartoonist Michael Cavna of the Washington Post created the hashtag #Draw4Atena where artists could share pictures and Atena's story.

Michael Cavna / Via Twitter: @comicriffs

The hashtag is currently building up speed and there is new hope for Atena as people from all over the world draw to support her.

Gavin Aung Than / Via

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