Petition for the Release of Mehdi Yarrahi
561 people signed this petition
On August 28, 2023, Fars News Agency, quoting the public relations department of Tehran's judiciary, reported that the Tehran prosecutor detained Iranian singer Mehdi Yarrahi after releasing a song deemed "illegal." Legal action has since been initiated against him.
Mehdi Yarrahi, formerly an accredited pop musician in Iran and a one-time collaborator with the state-run Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB), used his platform to voice support for the masses during the "Women, Life, Freedom" movement. Through his song "Roosarito," he reasserted his support for this cause.
Historically, Yarrahi has been the auditory emblem of Iranian dissent. His song "Khak" voiced concerns about Ahvaz's air pollution. During the "No to High Prices" demonstrations, he penned a letter to then-President Hassan Rouhani expressing his criticism. In solidarity with the Ahvaz steel workers protesting delayed wages, Yarrahi and his ensemble donned worker uniforms during a performance at Ahvaz's Aftab Hall. Following this, he launched "Pareh Sang" – a music video that earned the ire of government conservatives for its anti-war sentiments, resulting in a subsequent ban.
In 2020, commemorating Sahar Khodayari's tragic self-immolation – a protest against discriminatory treatment towards women at sports venues – Yarrahi released "Dokhtaraneh." Furthermore, his song "Aks Shod" memorialized the victims of the Ukrainian plane downed by IRGC missiles. In 2021, he stood with Khuzestan's water-deprived protesters, delivering a heartfelt rendition of "Ahwak."
Despite his endeavors for justice, Yarrahi faced multiple sanctions from the Islamic Republic of Iran, including an unjustified work prohibition.
Given that Mehdi Yarrahi's actions have solely defended those resisting tyranny, prejudice, and repression, we, the undersigned, declare his arrest unlawful. We urgently call for his prompt release.
5 September 2023
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On October 17, 2023, Ms. Zahra Minoui, a lawyer, announced, "Minutes ago, Mr. Mahdi Yerahi was released from Evin prison after accepting bail."
An Ahwazi activist started this petition