Iranian lawyers and activists have expressed concern over the secret trial of Toomaj Salehi, a rapper opposed to the Islamic Republic.
Lawyer Pegah Banihashemi, told Iran International on Sunday that “Salehi has been detained for more than 230 days, and a few days ago, his trial was held behind closed doors. Considering that there are reports about his beating, the US government has announced that it will monitor his case.”
On June 22, representatives of the German, Austrian, New Zealand, and Italian parliaments, who have become Salehi’s political sponsors, announced that the court proceedings concerning the singer’s charges were held 230 days after his arrest without media coverage or official notification.
Milad Rasaimanesh, a political activist, also said “the more famous people inform about the case of Toomaj Salehi, the better the situation will be for him.”
Three parliament members of Germany, Italy and Austria also demanded access to his file.
“We are very concerned. There is no transparency at all. We don’t know anything: Not how the court date went. Not when the next court date will be. Not when the verdict will be announced,” Ye-One Rhie, a member of Germany’s parliament, stated on Twitter.
“We demand direct access to Toomaj himself. We demand access to all court files,” she underlined.
Inside Iran, public protests against the imprisonment of the dissident singer continue with people chanting slogans or putting up posters of Salehi in various cities.
Earlier, Shirin Ebadi, a lawyer and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, wrote about the judicial process of Toomaj, saying that he was denied the right to have a lawyer of his choice.
The Iranian diaspora also organized several rallies across Europe and America in recent months to support Salehi and other political prisoners.
Salehi, 33, is an artist mostly known for his protest songs about Iran’s social issues and injustice by the government. Salehi was arrested on October 30th as part of the crackdown on opponents.
His arrest came shortly after his interview with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, saying that “You are dealing with a mafia that is ready to kill the entire nation… in order to keep its power, money and weapons.”
In his politically charged songs such as “Buy a Rat Hole” (2021), Toomaj, a 32-year-old metalworker in Esfahan, spoke out against repression, injustice, poverty, and authorities’ own corruption and impunity from prosecution.
Source » iranintl