The Supreme Court annuls the rapper’s death sentence

The Supreme Court overturned the sentence of an Iranian rapper jailed and sentenced to death for supporting anti-government protests on appeal, his lawyer said.

Toomaj Salehi was arrested in October 2022 after making public statements in support of protests that had broken out across Iran.

His lawyer, Amir Raesian, said the Supreme Court ordered a new trial and that judges decided that Salehi’s previous prison sentence of six years and three months went against Iran’s multiple offense rules and exceeded the legal punishment. .

Salehi, 22, was initially sentenced to prison in July 2023, after avoiding the death penalty thanks to a Supreme Court ruling.

But the following January, the Revolutionary Court in the city of Isfahan charged him with new crimes.

He was sentenced to death in April for the capital crime of “corruption on earth.”

The musician was also found guilty of a number of other crimes, including assisting sedition, calling for riots, collusion and anti-state propaganda.

Through his songs and lyrics, Salehi became famous for boldly criticizing Iran’s leaders for their corruption and repression of dissent.

He had expressed support for the 2022 protests, which were sparked by the death of a young Iranian Kurdish woman. Mahsa Aminiin police custody.

Amini, 22, was visiting Tehran with her family when she was detained by religious police for allegedly wearing an “inappropriate” hijab.

The crackdown on protests led to the deaths of hundreds of people and the arrest of thousands more.

Before the nationwide unrest, Salehi was already an established artist and known as an outspoken figure. He published his songs on social networks because he was prohibited from performing at concerts.

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