Iranian rapper released on bail after year in jail over charges of 'corruption on earth'

Toomaj Salehi was arrested on multiple charges after writing songs about Iran's nationwide protests last year

By Reuters

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People hold placards bearing portraits of Iranian rapper Toomaj Salehi (R), who is arrested in Iran, and portraits of children (L), who were killed during the protests in Iran, during a rally in support of Iranian women in Istanbul, on November 26, 2022. AFP
People hold placards bearing portraits of Iranian rapper Toomaj Salehi (R), who is arrested in Iran, and portraits of children (L), who were killed during the protests in Iran, during a rally in support of Iranian women in Istanbul, on November 26, 2022. AFP

Published: Sun 19 Nov 2023, 6:39 PM

Iranian rapper Toomaj Salehi, who has been detained since his arrest last year for showing support to anti-government protests, was released on bail from Isfahan prison, Iranian human rights group Hengaw said on Sunday.

Following the death in custody of 22-year-old Iranian-Kurdish woman Mahsa Amini in September 2022, Iran experienced months of nationwide protests that represented one of the fiercest challenges to the Islamic Republic since its establishment in 1979.

Salehi, who wrote songs about the protests, was released late on Saturday after Iran's supreme court rejected a ruling sentencing him to six years in prison on multiple charges, including "corruption on earth".

No information was made public about the conditions of Salehi's bail and his case has been sent back to a lower court.

The 33-year-old rapper spent 1 year and 21 days in prison, including 252 days in solitary confinement, during which he was subject to physical injuries according to his official page on the social media website X, formerly known as Twitter.

"I thought the saddest situation was being alone under the tortures of time, now I understand that being released alone (when others are still detained) is even more bitter," he said on the official X page.

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