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Iran Regime Arrests Dissident Rapper 2 Weeks After Release from Prison

Iranian dissident rapper Toomaj Salehi. Negin Niknaam
Iranian dissident rapper Toomaj Salehi. Negin Niknaam

On Thursday, Iranian judicial authorities arrested a prominent dissident for “spreading lies” and “the violation of public opinion.”

According to his account on X, rapper Toomaj Salehi, 32, was taken into custody by plainclothes security officials while he was walking in the northern city of Babol. The social media post also alleged that Salehi was assaulted by the officers and beaten with rifle stocks during the arrest.

The popular hip-hop artist had been one of the most notable celebrity voices during the anti-government protests that took place in the wake of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini’s death while in the custody of Iran’s morality police.

Salehi was recently released on bail after serving 13 months of a 6-year sentence for a protest related conviction of “corruption on earth.” He originally faced a possible death sentence in that case.

Salehi’s attorney, Amir Raisian, told AFP shortly after the incident, “My client has been arrested again today, but we don’t know the details.”

His recent confrontation with the police may be related to a video message he publicized this week on his YouTube channel, alleging that while in prison he was subject to repeated torture. Salehi stated that while being held mostly in solitary confinement, he was beaten regularly, resulting in several bone fractures.

The rapper is widely known throughout Iran and its diaspora community for his protest songs against the regime in Tehran.

Related Story: High-Profile Artists Call for Release of Imprisoned Singer, Rapper in Iran

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