Iran: After more than 250 days in jail, rapper Toomaj Salehi released on bail

After more than 250 days in jail, well-known Iranian rapper Toomaj Salehi has been released on bail. A liberation that was not expected.

People hold placards with portraits of Iranian rapper Toomaj Salehi (R), who was sentenced to six years and three months in prison in Iran before being released on bail, during a rally in support of Iranian protesters in Istanbul, November 26, 2022. © YASIN AKGUL / AFP

By: RFI Follow


Read More

Salehi's release comes as a surprise, reports our correspondent in Tehran, Siavosh Ghazi. The Iranian rapper was arrested nearly a year ago for calling in his songs for the overthrow of the Islamic regime in Iran, and for the revolt of the population. For the time being, no reason has been given for this unexpected release.

He "got out of jail" late Saturday after a Supreme Court ruling, his lawyer Amir Raisian told the reformist daily Shargh. A photo posted on his Instagram page shows him carrying a bouquet of white flowers upon his release from prison.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Toomaj Salehi | توماج صالحی (@toomajofficial)

Sentenced to six years in prison for "corruption on earth"


The 32-year-old musician was arrested in October 2022 and sentenced to six years and three months in prison for "corruption on earth". The Judiciary had accused the singer of "propaganda against the system", "disturbing the security" of the country, "cooperating with states hostile to the Islamic Republic" and "inciting violence". Foreign artists had given him their support, fearing that he would be sentenced to death.

On social media, many netizens welcomed the release. But netizens close to the government suggested that he had cooperated with Iran's intelligence services.

Hundreds of protesters killed last year

Hundreds of people were killed during protests last year after the death of Mahsa Amini, a young Iranian Kurdish woman who was arrested for wearing an Islamic veil that was deemed "improperly worn". Salehi's release comes at a time when the government is keeping up the pressure on opposition circles. A dozen actors and actresses have been banned from working, and convictions are multiplying in dissident circles.

A popular actress in Iran, Hanieh Tavassoli, for example, was given a suspended prison sentence, according to her lawyer. "She was sentenced to six months in prison and a fine of 150 million rials (about 300 euros) for publishing false information with the aim of disturbing public opinion," Maryam Kianersi said on Sunday, according to the Shargh website. This sentence is suspensive for three years.

Read alsoA year of protests in Iran: the pen, the brush and humour, weapons of the revolution


And with AFP)

NewsletterGet all the latest international news straight to your inbox

Subscribe now

Keep up to date with all the latest international news by downloading the RFI app


Most read



How Niger and Burkina Faso contributed to the Malian army's offensive on Kidal



Lebanon: Fighting of unprecedented intensity on the Israeli border



Tunisia: Netflix's blockbuster 'Hannibal' at the heart of controversy