Government Reportedly Tortures Iranian Rapper On Protest Song

Friends and family of Iranian rapper Toomaj Salehi fear for his life amid reports that he was forcibly jailed for pushing Iranians to demonstrate. Last week, the 32-year-old rapper was detained for protesting the police killing of a lady who was not wearing a headscarf in public.

According to Iranian media, Salehi is now accused of offenses that carry the death penalty. Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Kurdish Iranian woman, died on September 16 after being seized by “morality police” and sent to a “re-education center” purportedly for not wearing her hijab correctly, sparking massive demonstrations in Iran.

In one of his protests songs, Salehi  rapped, “Someone’s crime was that her hair was flowing in the wind. Someone’s crime was that he or she was brave and were outspoken.” His Uncle told reporters that the government and officers are not treating him well as he is detained. Sources also say that Toomaj was taken to an undisclosed location by troops, detaining him while he tried to cross the country’s western borders.

The rapper is being accused of “propagandistic activity against the government, cooperation with hostile governments and forming illegal groups with the intention of creating insecurity in the country.” News of Mahsa Amini’s death reportedly set off the largest bout of protests since 2009. The police claimed she had a heart attack and slipped into a coma. However, eyewitnesses and friends of the young woman, who were with her when she was detained, said Amini was severely beaten by officers with The Guidance Patrol.

Toomaj’s uncle went on to share, “We still do not know anything about Toomaj’s health condition. The family has tried very hard to even just hear his voice, but no one has given us any information about Toomaj. We don’t even know if Toomaj and his friends are alive or not.”

Our thoughts are with Salehi and his family at this time. Check out 24Naijamusic for the latest updates on the story.

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