Iranian Rapper Arrested for a Song Criticizing the Islamic Republic

Published September 16th, 2021 - 07:18 GMT
Tomaj Salehi an Iranian rapper.
Tomaj Salehi was arrested in his house on September 13th.
Highlights
Iranian rapper has predicted his arrest days earlier.

Iranian rapper Toomaj Salehi, originally from Isfahan, was arrested by security forces on Monday following a rap song criticizing the Islamic Republic rule, the singer’s relatives announced on Instagram.

According to Iran Human Rights Monitor (Iran HRM), the Iranian rapper’s house was searched and his personal stuff were confiscated upon his arrest. A group of agents raided Salehi's home and after searching it, he was taken to an unknown location.

Activists worldwide have called international communities to join their voices in pressuring the Iranian government to release him. Famous Iranian journalist and activist, Masih Alinejad, shared the rapper’s song on Twitter and wrote : “Please be his voice, as he has been the voice of his people suffering under the Islamic Republic's rule.”

NYT journalist Farnaz Fassihi has triggered social media users’ anger after posting a controversial Tweet supporting the security forces’ decision to arrest the Iranian rapper. In the post she said: “Death threats, in song, video, or tweets, are a crime.”

Activists slammed the journalist stating that according to the US law, rap songs with such threatening words shouldn’t be subjected to court. They also accused her of supporting the Iranian government in its continuous human rights violations.

A huge campaign on social media with viral hashtags- #FreeToomaj and # #ToomajSalehi- were launched as people voiced their support for the Iranian rapper who was detained following his latest songs “Normal Life” and “Mouse Hole.”

The Iranian rapper is well-known for his critical songs as he usually highlights social issues such as  workers’ strikes, government corruption, executions and imprisonment through his music.

The Iranian rapper Salehi predicted on his Twitter account that he might be arrested via a post saying: “Well, comrades, I keep my phone away because they probably have my location through this. Don’t worry, I won’t let them arrest me because we have a lot to do with them! I will take a secure phone in a few days.”

Tomaj Salehi (also known as Tomaj) is a protest-rapper from Isfahan. He has been highlighted by social media inside and outside Iran.


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