Saman Yasin, a young Kurdish artist and rapper, has been in prison for three weeks after being forcibly arrested at his house by Iranian security personnel. Following his social media posts of support for the anti-regime demonstrators, he has been accused of waging war against God.
Human rights groups have warned that the Iranian dictatorship may unleash a brutal campaign of retaliation in an effort to quell ongoing protests, and his fate, which will be decided in the coming days by the Iranian courts, could be shared by thousands of other young demonstrators who are now detained.
Since the protests began over eight weeks ago, when 22-year-old Mahsa Amini died in detention after being seized by Iran’s morality police, the regime has allegedly detained an estimated 14,000. This number includes youngsters.
On Wednesday, Javaid Rehman, the special rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran, said that in the past six weeks, “thousands of men, women, and children — by some accounts over 14,000 persons” had been arrested. This number included human rights defenders, students, lawyers, journalists, and civil society activists.
Earlier this week, Iranian authorities declared that more than 1,000 people arrested in Tehran and a comparable number outside the city will be subject to public tribunals. There are charges that could lead to the death penalty being filed against these people. I would like to emphasize the importance of the international community’s role and obligation in eliminating impunity for human right abuses in Iran, given the lack of domestic mechanisms of accountability.
Human rights activists fear that a wave of executions and life sentences will be handed down by the courts in the coming weeks after 227 Iranian lawmakers urged the judiciary to “deal decisively with the perpetrators of these crimes and with all those who assisted in the crimes and provoked rioters” on November 6. The authorities in Tehran have stated their intention to hold trials for the thousand protesters now detained there.
According to the Hengaw Organization for Human Rights, high-profile inmates like Yasin may be exploited by the Iranian regime in an effort to scare others who continue to protest.
Rapper Yasin, who has gained widespread recognition and praise, has spoken out strongly against the current government. He has penned several protest songs and sent messages of sympathy for demonstrators on his social media accounts.
Soma Rostami of Hengaw remarked, “We know the government easily kills individuals and directly sentences the inmates to death.” Man Yasin needs us to be his voice because he is in grave danger.
Yasin was arrested this week on charges of moharabeh (enmity against God), and since then, his family has gone silent, according to human rights groups.
Yasin has been given the death penalty, and there are reports that he and other demonstrators are being tortured in prison.
Toomaj Salehi, a 32-year-old musician and rapper, was arrested on 30 September along with two friends, and his family claims that he has been subjected to “severe torture” by the regime for releasing songs in support of protesters and posting pictures of himself chanting slogans against the security forces in Isfahan.
In response to the arrest of the well-known musician, many people have started online petitions demanding his freedom and have extensively distributed the hashtag #FreeToomaj.
We were shocked and saddened by the news of his incarceration, but we refused to give up. One of Salehi’s friends, who asked not to be identified for fear for his safety, said, “We are doing what we can to carry on what he stood for and urge the international community’s leaders to hold the Islamic Republic accountable for their crimes against humanity, to release Toomaj and all Iranian people who are imprisoned and tortured daily, all because they seek freedom.”
We are well aware of their intentions to further traumatize and terrify us. What’s important, she said, is that the Islamic Republic’s ruthless administration is putting people in jail for speaking out against the government and for being innocent.
If attorneys show up at courthouses on their clients’ behalf, they could be arrested along with their clients. Concern for his life is heightened by the fact that we know nothing about his health, the nature of the accusations against him, or the state of his physical wellbeing.
Two female journalists who broke the story of Mahsa Amini’s death last week have been accused of being CIA agents by the Iranian government.
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