Mercede Sheybani

Toomaj Salehi’s  last music video posted prior to his October 2022 arrest included the lyrics, “We go from bottom of PYRAMID and knock to the the top of that
We perform the show, look how spectacular we are”

The regime arrested Toomaj Salehi, an Iranian rapper, who was voicing concern about the state of human rights, mismanagement and corruption of the Islamic government. In less than one day the  regime had already charged him with “Propaganda activity against the system, cooperation with hostile governments and formation of an illegal group with the intention of disrupting the security of the country.” All these charges carry the death penalty. He has since been shown blindfolded and in a weakened physical state on the IG public broadcasting TV, where he is forced to confess. Based on his appearance in the video, he is in solitary confinement, and under torture.

Human rights activists fear for his life and the lives of all detainees.

Toomaj is among thousands, including protesters as well as journalists, lawyers, artists, athletes, activists and others arrested in Iran’s ongoing state crackdown on the anti-establishment protests that have rocked the country for the past 6 months.

Toomaj is a young rapper and a social activist, whose only crime is speaking the truth. His songs are about corruption, poverty and freedom and he always tries to be the voice of Iranians against the oppressive regime in Iran.

I invite those with awakened consciences to help us save the life of Toomaj Salehi.

I was born in Iran and am currently obtaining my MFA at the Academy of Art University. My work focuses on story-telling humanitarian issues and its effects on immigration. I pull from my own experiences and real stories happening around me. My personal narrative comes from my emotions.

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