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Iran. Rapper Toomaj Salehi sentenced to death

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An Iranian revolutionary court sentenced the country's well-known rapper Toomaj Salehi to death on charges of inciting riots in 2022-2023, the media reported, citing his lawyer.

In his songs, 33-year-old Iranian rapper Toomaj Salehi supported the months-long protests in Iran in 2022, triggered by the death in police custody of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Kurdish woman from Iran, arrested by the customs police for allegedly wearing an “inappropriate” hijab.

According to the lawyer, the revolutionary court accused Salehi of “inciting rebellion, assembly, conspiracy, propaganda against the system and inciting riots.”

Toomaj Salehi, protests in Paris (2023)TERESA SUAREZ/EPA/PAP

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Rapper Toomaj Salehi sentenced to death

The rapper was arrested in October 2022 after publicly supporting nationwide protests. In 2023, he was sentenced to six years and three months in prison, and the Supreme Court rejected a request to sentence him to death.

According to the rapper's lawyer, Amir Raisian, who was quoted by local media, the First Division of the Revolutionary Court in central Isfahan “committed an unprecedented move, did not implement the Supreme Court's ruling and sentenced Salehi to the severest punishment.”

The rapper has 20 days to appeal the verdict. “We will definitely appeal,” Raisian said.

Iranians express their support for an Iranian rapper in Oslo (2023) Javad Parsa/EPA/PAP

Main photo source: TERESA SUAREZ/EPA/PAP

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