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Who is Toomaj Salehi, the Iranian rapper who the Supreme Court has decided to no longer sentence to death

The Iranian Supreme Court overturned the Death penalty of the rapper Toomaj Salehi. The artist’s lawyer, Amir Raisian, announced it on other sentences”.

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It is a first happy ending in the story of the 33-year-old Iranian rapper, very famous in the country, who was arrested in October 2022 while Iran was protesting over the death of Mahsa Amini, she was arrested in turn by the police because she did not wear her veil “well” and died inside the prison. Toomaj Salehi immediately supported the protests against the regime and also in his texts he denounced rampant corruption, poverty and asked for the unjustly arrested prisoners to be freed.

Six months after the first arrest, the rapper was released on bail. In 2023 he was sentenced to six years and three months in prison and condemned the conditions in which he was also held in solitary confinement. For his constant commitment, last January, he was accused by the regime of «corruption on Earth». He will have to answer for this in the new trial that will take place, according to what Salehi’s lawyer reported. After his arrest, Salehi was also subjected to torture, as reported by the United Nations after some of their representatives met the rapper in prison and found him with several injuries, including a broken nose and fingers.

“While the Supreme Court’s decision is an important correction to the cruel and unlawful treatment of Mr. Salehi, it is critical that his rights are respected,” the rapper’s legal team said, as reported on Rolling Stone USA. «Mr Salehi’s case has been referred to Branch 1 of the Isfahan Revolutionary Court for re-sentencing. Even a shorter prison term would be an injustice: Salehi did nothing but ask for respect for his and other Iranians’ fundamental rights. He must be free to continue making his music and seek the medical care he needs after his imprisonment, free from any continued detention, harassment or persecution.”

In the video of a remake of the song Soorakh Moosh (Mouse’s Den), the song that led to Toomaj Salehi’s arrest, which became one of the symbolic lyrics of the protests for Mahsa Amini, the singer repeats at the end: «Freedom is expensive, yes, freedom kills. But the day will come when we will achieve justice and individuality. And then peace.”


Source: Vanity Fair

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