Singer-songwriter Shervin Hajipour, whose song ‘For Freedom’ has become the manifesto of Iran’s uprising, has been charged with "propaganda against the regime."  (file photo)

Singer-songwriter Shervin Hajipour, whose song ‘For Freedom’ has become the manifesto of Iran’s uprising, has been charged with "propaganda against the regime."

Iran Intensifying Crackdown On Celebrities For Backing Popular Uprising

Monday, 10/10/2022

The Islamic Republic authorities are increasing pressure on Iranian celebrities as their support for the current uprising is growing on social media and during various events. 

Ali Saeedi Shahroudi, the head of the Political and Ideological Office of the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces and former representative of the Supreme Leader in the Revolutionary Guards, said on Monday that Iran should establish an organization to oversee the behavior of musicians, actors and sports stars similar to government-controlled outfits regulating professional groups. 

The members of the country’s Engineering Organization or the Medical Council of the Islamic Republic cannot do whatever they want in fear of the consequences, he said, calling for establishing such a system for celebrities. Artists “committed to the Islamic Republic” should get to work and create such associations, Shahroudi said. 

Since the beginning of the current wave of protests across Iran, sparked by the murder of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in custody of hijab police, the Islamic Republic has confiscated passports of numerous celebrities and also detained several others over their support for the uprising. 

Protests over the death of Mahsa Amini have gained more public support and demonstrations against the ruling theocratic regime and calls for a secular, democratic government have intensified. The unrest has been amplified by social media and, in some cases, celebrities with large online followings, such as footballers Ali Karimi and Ali Daei or singers such as Shervin Hajipour – whose song has become a manifesto for anti-regime demonstrators.

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