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

Hip-hop artists, rappers and musicians are all speaking out publicly to plead for the release of rapper and singer Toomaj Salehi, who remains in jain in Iran with his life at risk.

Salehi, a prominent Iranian artist used the pen and microphone to bring awareness to the freedom movement inside Iran.

Advocates are calling on the United States and the international community to secure Salehi's release. The growing number of voices demanding Salehi's freedom includes American rapper and DJ Paul Wall.

"I want to tell you about a rapper I know named Toomaj Salehi," Paul Wall said in the video. 

"He’s from Iran. They have got a lot going on in Iran right now, with protesting for women’s rights. He went to one of the protests, then he made a rap song about the protest, and got arrested for making a rap song. Now he’s being put to death," Wall said in an Instagram video.

Another American hip-hop artist Baby Bash is doing his part, posting a video to his Instagram followers about Salehi's situation, urging people to pay attention to the situation.

"Toomaj, we have your back," Baby Bash said on Instagram. "And blessings to you."

Particularly on the eve of the Grammy Awards, artists are hoping they can bring awareness to Salehi's case as musicians from around the world gather.

The 32-year-old singer and rapper is a former engineer who was unlawfully imprisoned by the Islamic Republic for more than 80 days in solitary confinement. 

According to reports, the only crime he was charged with was being an outspoken dissident against the Islamic regime through his lyrics.

There is a change.org petition supporting the popular musician with nearly 407,410 signatures. Once it hits 500,000, it will become one of the site’s most popular petitions. 

Salehi's capture for supporting peaceful protesters, who have been attacked by the so-called "morality police" in Iran, has sparked an ongoing global outcry. 

In Germany, Congresswoman Ye-One Rhie and Austrian politician Helmut Brandstatter and Toomaj's sponsors have used their political platform on multiple occasions to speak against Salehi's unlawful arrest.

"I want the release of all political prisoners, support for the Iranian civilian population, and tougher personal sanctions against the regime," said Ye-One Rhie in front of her German political colleagues and shared with her 14,200 Instagram followers.

Following the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini at the hands of the Islamic Republic's morality police, protests erupted in Iran, with peaceful protesters calling for the regime's downfall. 

Since September of last year, journalists, writers, celebrities, rappers, singers and human rights activists in Iran have been arrested by the Islamic government's security forces. 

Despite international condemnation and sanction, the regime continues to arrest, torture, and execute Iranians for speaking out or calling for regime change.

Related Story: Iranian Rapper Faces Death Penalty for Protesting

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