IHRNGO Condemns Rapper Toomaj Salehi’s Death Sentence and Calls for International Reaction

April 24, 2024, 5:37 p.m.

Iran Human Rights (IHRNGO); April 24, 2024: Rapper Toomaj Salehi who was arrested during the “Woman, Life, Freedom” nationwide protests has received the death penalty.

Condemning the death sentence against Toomaj Salehi in the strongest terms, Iran Human Rights calls for the international community to pay special attention to the intensification of repression in Iran.

IHRNGO Director, Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam said: “Issuing the death penalty for expressing opinions and creating artistic works is a sign of the desperation of the Islamic Republic regime and its fear of popular protests. The global community and the people of Iran must strongly react to this inhumane verdict."

In an interview with Sharq newspaper, one of Toomaj Salehi’s lawyer, Amir Raeisian stated that his client had been sentenced to death for charges of efsad-fil-arz (corruption on earth) and denied reports that he had been pardoned.

Amir Raeisian said: “In a move that is unprecedented in its kind, Branch One of the Isfahan Revolutionary Court did not implement the Supreme Court’s decision in Toomaj’s 2022 case, it sentenced Toomaj Salehi to the maximum sentence for efsad-fil-arz charges, the death penalty.”

“Branch One of the Isfahan Revolutionary Court considered the charges of ‘disrupting public order, spreading lies and inciting riots through cyber crimes’ to be within the jurisdiction of Branch 2 of the Isfahan Criminal Court and has not issued a verdict for those charges. The Court has also dropped the charges of ‘connection with hostile governments and insulting the leader.’ The reason for this is that the court had acquitted him of the charges in its previous ruling,” the lawyer further said.

On social media, his other lawyer, Mostafa Nili reported that they would be appealing the decision within the legal time frame.

Toomaj Salehi is a rapper who was previously arrested in 2018 and 2021. He was in hiding during the “Woman, Life, Freedom” uprising when he was violently arrested in Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari province on 30 October 2022. He was subjected to torture and ill-treatment, forced to repent on camera and denied medical treatment and access to his lawyer. Toomaj was subsequently released on bail after spending a year and 21 days behind bars with 252 days spent in solitary confinement. However, he was violently rearrested just 12 days later after speaking out against the torture he was subjected to behind bars. He is held in Isfahan Central Prison.