Iran supreme court overturns rapper Toomaj Salehi’s death sentence: Lawyer

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Iran’s supreme court has overturned a death sentence against popular rapper Toomaj Salehi who was jailed for backing nationwide protests sparked by Mahsa Amini’s death, his lawyer said Saturday.

“Salehi’s death sentence was overturned,” the rapper’s lawyer Amir Raisian said in a post on X, adding that the Islamic Republic’s top court had ordered a retrial.

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In April, an Iranian sentenced Salehi to death on the capital offense of “corruption on earth,” Raisian said at the time.

The rapper was also found guilty of “assistance in sedition, assembly and collusion, propaganda against the state and calling for riots,” the lawyer said.

Salehi, 33, was arrested in October 2022 after publicly backing demonstrations which had erupted a month earlier, triggered by Amini’s death in police custody.

Amini, a 22-year-old Iranian Kurd, had been detained by the morality police in Tehran over an alleged breach of the Islamic Republic’s strict dress rules for women.

“The Supreme Court prevented an irreparable judicial error,” Raisian said.

The months-long protests sparked by Amini’s death saw hundreds of people killed, including dozens of security personnel.

Thousands were arrested as authorities moved to quell what they branded foreign-instigated “riots.”

Nine men have been executed in protest-related cases involving killings and other violence against security forces.

Covering the neck and head has been compulsory for women in Iran since 1983, following the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

Since the protests, woman have been increasingly flouting the strict dress code, but Iranian police have in recent months toughened controls on women who ignore the rules.

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