HomeWorldMiddle EastIranian Rapper Toomaj Salehi Rearrested Less Than Two Weeks After Release

Iranian Rapper Toomaj Salehi Rearrested Less Than Two Weeks After Release

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Iranian rapper Toomaj Salehi has been rearrested by authorities less than two weeks after being released on bail. Salehi, 32, had initially been detained in October 2022 for openly supporting anti-government protests that swept the nation the previous month.

These protests were triggered by the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, an Iranian Kurd whom the morality police had arrested for an alleged violation of Iran’s strict dress code.

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According to Iran’s judiciary news agency, Mizan, Salehi is now facing charges of “publishing false information and disturbing public opinion” after the Supreme Court ordered his release for a case review.

Salehi’s lawyer, Amir Raisian, confirmed the rearrest, stating, “My client has been arrested again today, but we don’t know the details.”

The rapper, known for his songs addressing the protests, had initially been handed a six-year prison sentence on serious charges, including “corruption on earth,” one of Iran’s most severe offences with the potential for the death penalty.

However, Salehi was granted bail on November 18, as the Supreme Court identified “flaws in the initial sentence,” according to Raisian. Salehi had spent over a year in custody.

The accusations against Salehi in the initial case included spreading “lies on the internet,” “propaganda against the state,” and inciting violence. He was further accused of “forming and managing illegal groups with the aim of disrupting security in cooperation with a government hostile” to Iran.

This latest development raises concerns about freedom of expression and dissent in Iran, particularly in the context of ongoing protests and government crackdowns.

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Salehi’s case highlights the precarious position artists and activists find themselves in when expressing opinions contrary to the authorities.

The international community has previously expressed condemnation over Iran’s handling of dissent, urging the government to respect human rights and freedom of speech.

Salehi’s rearrest is likely to reignite discussions about the limitations placed on artistic expression and dissenting voices within the country.

As the situation unfolds, human rights advocates and supporters of free expression will be closely monitoring the developments surrounding Toomaj Salehi’s case, emphasizing the importance of upholding fundamental rights in the face of increasing scrutiny and suppression.

 

This article was created using automation technology and was thoroughly edited and fact-checked by one of our editorial staff members

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