Iranian rapper Toomaj Salehi arrested again

Iranian rapper Toomaj Salehi was arrested again around a week and a half after his release. The 32-year-old is accused of spreading false information in connection with allegations of torture.

Iranian rapper Toomaj Salehi has been arrested again just days after his release from prison. The news portal of the judicial authority Misan Online wrote about the arrest on Thursday.

The 32-year-old is now accused of spreading false information and disrupting public opinion. According to Salehi's lawyer Amir Raisan, the allegations relate to a video the musician published after his release. In it he thanked for the solidarity and accused the Iranian judiciary of having tortured him during his detention.

Supporters of Salehi previously reported on social media that the artist was allegedly abducted in the middle of the street by regime officials on Thursday. Apparently, plainclothes officers approached him without warning and hit him with the butts of their Kalashnikov rifles. Then they took him away. He is now being held at an unknown location in Babol in the Iranian province of Mazandaran.

Toomaj Salehi was released on bail from a prison in Isfahan, central Iran, just a week and a half ago. A six-year prison sentence against him for “corruption on earth” was revised. In total, the musician had to spend a little more than a year in prison, a large part of it in solitary confinement.

The rapper had previously expressed solidarity in his songs with the “Jin, Jiyan, Azadî” revolution, which was sparked by the state femicide of Jina Mahsa Amini. The 22-year-old Kurdish woman died in custody of the notorious morality police in September 2022. The demonstrations were the most violent in decades. Salehi took part in the protests.

Hundreds dead and thousands arrested

The state apparatus violently suppressed the demonstrations. According to human rights groups, more than 550 people, including at least 68 minors and 49 women, were killed by regime forces in connection with the uprising, and at least eight male demonstrators were executed. Thousands more were injured and tens of thousands arrested.

Saman Yasin still in jail

In addition to Salehi, many other celebrities also suffered from prosecution at the time, including artists and filmmakers for expressing solidarity with the “Jin, Jiyan, Azadî” movement. For example, Saman Yasin. Like Salehi, the Kurdish rapper was arrested in October 2022 for his participation in the popular uprising. A death sentence passed against the 28-year-old from Kirmaşan (Kermanshah) on charges of “war against God” was overturned, but the trial is still ongoing. Yasin was also the victim of torture while in custody. At the end of 2022, he endured at least one mock execution in Tehran's notorious Evin Prison. Shortly afterwards he attempted suicide.