Iranian rapper Toomaj Salehi (undated)

Iranian rapper Toomaj Salehi

International Community Urged To Demand Release Of Jailed Iranian Rapper

Saturday, 04/08/2023

Rights groups fear the Iranian rapper, Toomaj Salehi, jailed for his anti-regime lyrics, will be given the death sentence.

The Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) say due to the severity of the charges he is facing, a death penalty is a grave risk, and urged the international community to lobby for the young man’s release from arbitrary imprisonment.

The group, which is in contact with people close to the rapper, has said that Salehi requires urgent medical treatment which cannot be provided from within the prison.

Salehi, 33, an artist mostly known for his protest songs about Iran's social issues and injustice by the government, was arrested in October after joining street protests that had erupted across the country in September after the death in custody of Mahsa Amini.

His arrest came shortly after his interview with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, calling the regime “a mafia that is ready to kill the entire nation... in order to keep its power, money and weapons”.

The 33-year-old metalworker from Esfahan is one of dozens of members of the artistic and entertainment community who have been arrested since the protests began as the regime struggles to contain the mass of discontent across the country.

CHRI Executive Director Hadi Ghaemi, said: “Toomaj rapped about political and social issues that Iranian authorities have long tried to conceal from domestic and foreign audiences to ward off criticism of their repressive policies."

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