Iran sentences popular rapper to death for supporting Mahsa Amini protests

An Iranian court has sentenced to death a popular rapper jailed for more than a year and a half for supporting nationwide protests sparked by Mahsa Amini's death, local media reported Wednesday.

Toomaj Salehi, 33, was arrested in October 2022 after publicly backing the wave of demonstrations which erupted a month earlier, triggered by the death in custody of 22-year-old Amini.

The Iranian Kurdish woman had been detained by the morality police in Tehran over an alleged breach of the Islamic republic's strict dress rules for women.

"Branch 1 of Isfahan Revolutionary Court... sentenced Salehi to death on the charge of corruption on Earth," the singer's lawyer Amir Raisian said, quoted by the reformist Shargh newspaper.

The court "in an unprecedented move, emphasised its independence and did not implement the Supreme Court's ruling", the lawyer said, adding that "we will certainly appeal against the sentence".

"The Supreme Court, as an appellate authority, had reviewed the case and issued a ruling to the lower court to remove the flaws in the sentence," he said.

"The fact is that the verdict of the court has clear legal conflicts.

The rapper was rearrested less than two weeks later.

Hijab patrols

Read more on FRANCE 24 English

Read also:
Spike in executions shows Iran’s prisons are ‘killing fields’, says Amnesty International
Iranian rapper jailed for supporting Mahsa Amini protests freed on bail
Iranian rapper arrested over supporting protests risks death penalty