Global action for Imprisoned rapper in solitary confinement for 200 days in Iran.
Sunday 14th May 13:00 – 16:00
Directly beneath London’s iconic Marble Arch
This Sunday, a co-ordinated global action takes place across major cities in Europe and the USA to support Toomaj Salehi, an Iranian rapper wrongfully imprisoned for making music. Toomaj has been in solitary confinement for 200 days. The event also is for his fellow jailed human rights defenders, calling for the release of Toomaj Salehi and support for Iran’s human rights movement.
Directly beneath London’s iconic Marble Arch, with its symbols of war, peace and victory, a rostra of renowned rappers and speakers including Rodney P (RiddimKilla), Amin Big A (Iran), Graziella and MCSolomon (Kamani Records, UK) will protest freedom of speech in music. Their focus is the unjust imprisonment of Iranian rapper Toomaj Salehi, now 200 days in confinement in Iran simply for making music in support of the woman, life, freedom movement. The event occurs simultaneously in Paris, London, Milan, Geneva, Strasbourg, Bordeaux, Montpelier, Nice, Lyon, Salon-de-Provence (Côte d’Azur), Grenoble, Antwerp, Luxembourg, Rome, Washington DC, and the city of Lille.
On April 5th Salehi’s cousin Ms. Shabnam Khosravi spoke to IranWire saying that his family is demanding his immediate release as “he has not committed any crime that would warrant spending (then) 157 days in solitary confinement pending trial.”
Salehi is one of the Iranians named by Amnesty this year as at risk in prison. He has been tortured, his fingers and leg broken. One of his eyes had been damaged from being severely beaten before a state-televised confession. He has multiple fractures and requires urgent medical attention, which he has been denied for 200 days.
International artists and human rights activists such as Councillor Mattie Heaven, whose husband conducted a 70 days hunger strike outside of the Foreign Office, will speak in solidarity, starring alongside politicians and surprise artists performing on stage.
German MP Ye-One Rhie, who has been highly vocal about Iran’s woman life freedom movement, has opted to be Salehi’s sponsor in an effort to improve his conditions during imprisonment and aid his release. The rallies are happening under the banner #FreeToomaj.
Salehi sings: “Our hearts are big, your mind is narrow, Love is my shield, rap is my weapon. The cry of the oppressed is in my chest, and my throat full of pain. The blood of protestors is my ink, my notebook is a movement.”
Zanyar Hasemi a renowned saz (stringed instrument) and daf player, and a singer- songwriter from Kurdistan, Iran will perform his track “Woman, life, freedom” and remix a Toomaj track with other daf players live on stage.
Gallery performance and fine artist Darvish Fakhr performs his slowed-down dance movementology to Iranian rap tracks on stage.
The event has already received video messages of support from Virgin Radio’s Eddy Temple-Morris, rapper Salome MC and actress Elika Ashoori.
BBC news – https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-63780502
Amnesty – https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2023/01/iran-young-man-at-grave-risk-of-execution-in-connection-with-protests-amid-killing-spree/
CNN – https://edition.cnn.com/2022/11/06/middleeast/iranian-rapper-arrested-intl/index.html
Iranwire – https://iranwire.com/en/prisoners/115232-tortured-iranian-rapper-denied-medical-care-in-prison-family-says/
Toomaj Salehi “Normal” – https://nufdiran.org/toomajs-normal-in-english/