Iran rearrests rapper less than two weeks after release
November 30, 2023 09:51 PM
Iranian authorities on Thursday rearrested rapper Toomaj Salehi, less than two weeks after his release on bail following his detention over supporting last year's nationwide protests.
Salehi, 32, was arrested in October 2022 after publicly backing the wave of demonstrations that erupted a month earlier, triggered by the death in custody of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, an Iranian Kurd, who had been detained over an alleged breach of Iran's strict dress rules for women.
"My client has been arrested again today but we don't know the details," his lawyer Amir Raisian told AFP.
The judiciary's Mizan online website later confirmed the arrest, adding that he was charged with "disturbing the public by posting false and undocumented comments on the internet".
In July, Salehi was sentenced to six years in prison on charges of "corruption on earth" -- one of Iran's most serious offences which carries a maximum penalty of death.
He was nonetheless freed on bail on November 18, according to Raisian, who told reformist newspaper Shargh that the country's Supreme Court had found "flaws in the initial sentence".
The accusations against Salehi in that case included spreading "lies on the internet" and "propaganda against the state" as well as inciting people to violence.
He was also accused of "having formed and managed illegal groups with the aim of disrupting security in cooperation with a government hostile" to Iran.
Iranian officials have labelled last year's protests "riots" and accused Tehran's foreign foes of fomenting unrest.
Months of unrest following Amini's death on September 16, 2022 saw hundreds of people killed including dozens of security personnel, and thousands more arrested.
Eight men have been executed in protest-related cases involving killing and other violence against security forces.