Iranian rapper Tommaj Salehi

Imprisoned Iranian Rapper To Serve More Jail Time

Monday, 01/01/2024

Iranian rapper Toomaj Salehi has been sentenced to further jail time as the regime cracks down on dissent, holding the celebrity as an example to the nation.

He has been convicted to "one year imprisonment, two years passport annulment, and participation in a behavioral management course," as revealed by his lawyer on Monday. Amir Raisian, sharing the announcement on social media, explained that Salehi's conviction is linked to "propaganda against the system" and the rapper's grievances against case officers.

As the regime continues to battle dissenting voices, prominent figures such as Salehi have been punished harshly, with many receiving jail time, travel bans and bans on work, to deter the public from further protest.

Salehi's lawyer penned an open letter to Gholamhossein Mohseni Ejei, the head of the judiciary, characterizing the legal proceedings as "the strangest and most extraordinary." The lawyer raised questions about the process's conformity to criminal procedural laws.

Salehi, initially released on bail on November 18 after enduring 252 days in prison, found himself back in custody just 12 days later. This followed the release of a video in which Salehi detailed the torture he endured during his imprisonment. The rapper, in the video, cited the experiences as the basis for his complaints against prison officials and government-affiliated media.

Salehi's social media account reported on December 14 that he suffered "severe damage to the eyes and face" during his latest arrest by government forces, contradicting official statements and raising concerns about the adherence to the law during the violent incident in Babol.

Salehi gained fame for his protest songs that tackled social issues and government injustices in Iran. His first arrest in October 2022 was a component of a wider crackdown on political dissidents of the regime, a response to the protests triggered by the death of Mahsa Amini in morality police custody.


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