Iranian cartoonist Hadi Heidari was released from prison on Tuesday April 26 after serving his sentence.
The Fararo website reports that Heidari was arrested for the “Blindfold” cartoon, which was published in the Shargh daily three years ago.
The publication of the cartoon led to a three-month shutdown of the Shargh daily, during which the Revolutionary Guards filed a suit against Heidari for drawing the piece.
The cartoon showed a lineup of people, each tying a black blindfold on the next person in line. The cartoon has no caption and has garnered several different interpretations.
In September of 2013, several MPs maintained that the cartoon was intentionally released during the week of Holy Defence, which is the term used in Iran to refer to the eight-year Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s. They maintained that the blindfolds reflect the black headband worn by Iranian soldiers and that the cartoon suggests the soldiers went to war blindly.
One hundred and twenty MPs then called for Heidari’s prosecution for insulting the “soldiers of the sacred defence”. Heidari was charged with “Propaganda against the regime through the publication of cartoons” and sentenced to one year in prison.
Heidari is an award-winning cartoonist who has done work for several reformist newspapers such as Shargh, Norooz and Neshat.