Toomaj Salehi Appears in Court Again; New Charges Added

توماج صالحی

The court session addressing the charges against protest rapper Toomaj Salehi was held in Branch 1 of the Isfahan Revolutionary Court on Thursday, April 18th, 2024.

According to the Campaign for the Defense of Political and Civil Prisoners, during this session, which dealt with charges from 2022, two new charges of “assembly and collusion” and “participation in armed rebellion” were added to Mr. Salehi’s previous charges.

Mostafa Nili, Toomaj Salehi’s defense attorney, stated that his lawyers presented their arguments during this session.

Mr. Toomaj Salehi had previously been sentenced to 6 years and 3 months in prison on charges such as “propaganda against the regime” and “insulting sanctities” in July 2023. The sentence against him was overturned by the Supreme Court and referred back to Branch 1 of the Isfahan Revolutionary Court for reconsideration.

Toomaj Salehi is currently held in Dastgerd Prison, Isfahan.

He made headlines again in March 2023 by releasing a video showing his torture in prison.

The arrest and heavy sentences against Toomaj Salehi have elicited widespread reactions from human rights and civil activists. They consider these actions a clear violation of human rights and freedom of speech and are calling for the immediate and unconditional release of the rapper.

It is worth noting that the new charges brought against Toomaj Salehi are considered severe under the laws of the Islamic Republic of Iran, and if proven, they could result in heavy penalties for him.

A few days after his arrest, Masoud Setayeshi, a spokesperson for the judiciary, stated that a temporary arrest warrant had been issued for Mr. Salehi. He announced that after Mr. Salehi was released in one of the northern provinces, he made remarks that led the prosecutor’s office to summon him, present new charges, and issue a bail order for the new charges. The conditions of his previous case were also intensified.

Toomaj Salehi was also arrested by security forces in October 2022 in connection with the nationwide protests. Official news outlets claimed he was arrested while attempting to illegally leave the country’s western borders, an allegation denied by those close to him.

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