April 29, 2024

Protests hit Canada, UK, others over Iranian rapper’s death sentence

Protests hit Canada, UK, others over Iranian rapper’s death sentence

Protests over death sentence imposed on Iranian rapper, Toomaj Salehi

Iranians in several European cities including London and Brussels in the UK and Belgium respectively, held protest rallies on Sunday in support for the 33-year-old Iranian rapper sentenced to death.

Vanguard recalls that Toomaj Salehi was handed a death sentence for publicly backing nationwide protests triggered after the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini.

In October 2022, Amini was arrested by Iran’s morality police for flouting hijab regulations, and subsequently died in custody, sparking protests across Iran.

Iranian authorities arrested Salehi for supporting the protests and last Wednesday was sentenced to death on the charge of corruption on Earth.

Some of the musicians described the situation as “a state of shock and disbelief,” emphasising the unprecedented sentence given to Salehi for peacefully expressing his views. 

They named him as a “voice of the voiceless” and a symbol of the aspirations of a generation yearning for a “normal life” in their homeland.

Also, demonstrations took place in Toronto in Canada and some campuses in the United States to condemn Salehi’s death sentence.

Reports also confirmed that people gathered in front of Tehran’s consular buildings and in some cities the main town squares were the venue of demonstrations.

Dozens of political prisoners in Iran’s Ghezel Hesar prison issued a statement condemning the death sentence, calling it “the culmination of gross human rights violations in Iran”. 

Salehi has also won the support of major US rappers, as well as human rights groups.

The Iranian press has been closely following the campus unrest in the US and France, including reports that 900 American students have been detained in April.