The dissident rapper, commonly known by his first name Toomaj, was arrested by Iranian authorities on the 30th of October, just over a week ago. This is not the first time Toomaj has been arrested by the Islamic regime.
His family fears for his safety as authorities have accused him of “propagandistic activity against the government, cooperation with hostile governments and forming illegal groups with the intention of creating insecurity in the country,”, acts for which the punishment can be the death penalty.
In the wake of the death of Mahsa Amini protests have grown massive in Iran, as well as in other parts of the world. Thousands of people have been detained during the unrest, including artists, activists and journalists, for using their voice and sadly many people have lost their lives.
It is believed that Toomaj was arrested, and, according to his family, tortured in prison because of his lyrics. In one of his last music videos, before his arrest, his lyrics included:
“Someone’s crime was dancing with her hair in the wind. Someone’s crime was that he or she was brave and criticized… 44 years of your government. It’s the year of failure.”
A petition demanding the safe release of the artist can be found here: https://www.change.org/p/salvate-toomaj-salehi-musicista-iraniana