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Sting and Coldplay protest death penalty for Iranian rapper

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Iranians in exile marked their support for the Iranian rapper Toomaj Salehi in Oslo in the summer of 2023. Salehi was arrested the previous autumn in connection with the women’s rights demonstrations in Iran. Now he has been sentenced to death, according to the lawyer. Photo: Javad Parsa / NTB

Of NTB | 10.05.2024 15:44:50

Crime and justice: Salehi has been sentenced to death for his support of the mass protests in Iran following the death of Mahsa Amini in 2022.

– Salehi’s death sentence is the culmination of three years of judicial harassment, including arrest, imprisonment and torture, it says in the petition from the London-based organization Index on Censorship.

In many of his songs, the rapper has focused on the human rights situation in Iran. In October 2023, he was honored with an award for freedom of expression by Index on Censorship.

– Art must be allowed to criticize, provoke, question and challenge authority. No artist should be subjected to any form of legal harassment for exercising their right to freedom of expression, much less be sentenced to death, the statement states.

The death sentence was announced at the end of April, and has caused strong reactions in Iran and other countries around the world.

(© NTB)

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