Iranian singer Mehdi Yarrahi

Iranian Pop Singer Sentenced To Prison, Lashes

Tuesday, 01/09/2024

Mehdi Yarrahi, a prominent Iranian pop music composer and singer, has been handed a verdict of two years and eight months of imprisonment along with 74 lashes.

The sentencing was confirmed by Yarrahi's attorney, Zahra Minooei, who explained that, as per Islamic penal law, the most severe aspect of the punishment, one year of imprisonment, is enforceable.

Minooei further disclosed that Yarrahi is currently temporarily released on bail amounting to 150 billion rials (approximately $300,000). This follows the attorney's announcement in October regarding Yarrahi's temporary release from Evin Prison, where he had been detained since August 28. Yarrahi gained attention for releasing protest works during the 2022 Iranian people's uprising against the Islamic Republic.

The singer's detention, triggered by the release of his protest music video titled "Rousarieto" (Your Headscarf), sparked widespread reactions from activists and public figures. In a show of solidarity, social media users shared dance videos featuring the controversial song.

According to Mizan News Agency, the media outlet of the Iranian judiciary, a legal case had been initiated against Mehdi Yarrahi for releasing the song. The media outlet labeled the song as "illegal and contrary to the ethics and norms of Islamic society."

Yarrahi was accused of various charges, including "producing, sending, distributing, and publishing obscene and immoral content through computer and telecommunication systems, encouraging people towards corruption and obscenity," as well as "propaganda against the system."

The star’s conviction occurs at a time when other singers, such as Toomaj Salehi and Saman Yasin, have been imprisoned for months due to their support for the uprising.

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