Rapper Salehi was acquitted of ‘corruption on earth,’ says lawyer

by Admin
Rapper Salehi was acquitted of 'corruption on earth,' says lawyer

Rapper Toomaj Salehi’s lawyer, Mostafa Nili, revealed recently that during last year’s legal proceedings in Iran, Salehi was acquitted of the initial charge of “corruption on earth” and should have been covered under the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s February amnesty.

Speaking to Etemaad newspaper, Nili said that the judges said the “corruption on earth” charge was not included in the amnesty directive.

“Certain cases were exempted under the leader’s amnesty directive,” he said.

Yet, Nili stressed, “Toomaj was acquitted of ‘corruption on earth’ [charges] in last year’s proceedings.”

Nili spoke in the aftermath of the recent death sentence handed down to Salehi. The sentence has ignited controversy and elicited widespread condemnations domestically and on the global platform.

According to his legal counsel, Salehi’s case revolved around the 2022 protests in Iran following the death of Mahsa Amini in police custody, with an additional case initiated regarding his post-bail interview.

“Following this interview, a one-year sentence was handed down to Toomaj, with no further implications,” Nili said.

Salehi is known for expressing critical views of Iran during the protests.

Legal experts contend that Salehi’s death sentence was not consistent with legal standards and did not correspond to the charges leveled against the dissident rapper. They argue that this ruling was premeditated and intended to “instill fear within society.”

Salehi faced trial on April 18 at Branch One of the Islamic Revolutionary Court in Isfahan where he was charged with “assembly and collusion” and “assisting in rebellion.” His legal team received notification of his death sentence on April 24.

Death sentence sparks protests

Salehi’s death sentence has been met with a surge of domestic and international protests.

Numerous artists and public figures have posted on social media platforms, sharing messages, including images or songs of Salehi, advocating for his freedom.

Many activists and professional associations have likewise denounced the verdict. In a statement condemning the ruling, educational activists in Alborz province emphasized, “the government’s shameful track record grows darker with each passing day.”

On Friday, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk voiced apprehension regarding the harsh repression of Iranian women by the Islamic Republic, particularly under stringent compulsory hijab regulations. Concurrently, he urged the immediate and unconditional release of Salehi.

The high commissioner also called for the release of all individuals imprisoned by the Islamic Republic for exercising their freedom of opinion and expression, including artistic expression.

Türk has urged Iran to immediately halt the application of the death penalty.

Following the reports of Salehi’s death sentence, several international bodies, including the United Nations Truth Commission, the U.N. Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in the Islamic Republic, and other organizations, have individually denounced the verdict and demanded the immediate and unconditional release of the incarcerated artist.

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