FREEMUSE AND SAFEMUSE WITH A JOINT PLEA TO NORWEGIAN AUTHORITIES

December 14, 2022
Iranian rapper Toomaj Salehi


Iranian rapper Toomaj Salehi: “Don’t cry if I die tomorrow”

The following statement was sent by Freemuse and Safemuse to the Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Minister for Culture, the Mayor of Oslo, the head of the Oslo City Council and the head of Oslo’s Cultural Council today:

On the 30th of October, the rapper Toomaj Salehi was arrested in Iran because of his regime-critical lyrics. His Kurdish colleague Saman Yasin has been in prison since the 2nd of and was sentenced to death in a bogus trial. Both artists are subjected to severe torture and maltreatment. We call on the Islamic Republic of Iran to withdraw the death penalty in the case against Yasin and to drop the charges against him and to drop the charges against Toomaj Salehi, who is also at the risk of facing the death penalty.

We call on the Norwegian government to do everything necessary to save the lives of Toomaj Salehi and Saman Yasin. They are accused of “enmity against God” (moharebeh) and “gross corruption” (ifsad fil-arz). These are charges that in the 21st century carry the death penalty in Iran.

As rappers, these artists work with words. Their lives are threatened because of their use of free speech. They are our colleagues. We encourage the Municipality of Oslo to make them honorary citizens of Oslo. Anyone who harms Toomaj Salehi and Saman Yasin is committing an unpardonable crime.

We want to do everything we can to prevent this. “Don’t cry if I die tomorrow because you were not by my side today,” Toomaj Salehi said shortly before his arrest. Toomaj and Saman: We are by your side!

Sverre Pedersen                                       Hans Ole Rian
Chair of Freemuse                                   Chair of Safemuse

Følgende henvendelse gikk fra Freemuse og Safemuse til utenriksministeren, kulturministeren, ordføreren, byrådslederen og kulturbyråden tidligere i dag:

30. oktober ble rapperenToomaj Salehi arrestert i Iran på grunn av hans regimekritiske tekster. Hans kurdiske kollega Saman Yasin har sittet i fengsel siden 2. oktober og ble dømt til døden i en farserettssak med falske anklager. Begge blir utsatt for alvorlig tortur og mishandling. Vi oppfordrer den islamske republikken Iran til å trekke tilbake dødsstraffen i saken mot Yasin og frafalle anklagene mot ham og til å frafalle anklagene mot Toomaj Salehi – også han risikerer dødsstraff.

Vi oppfordrer den norske regjeringen til å gjøre alt som trengs for å redde livene til Toomaj Salehi og Saman Yasin. De er anklaget for “fiendskap mot Gud” (moharebeh) og “grov korrupsjon” (ifsad fil-arz). Dette er anklager som i det 21. århundre århundre medfører dødsstraff i Iran.

Som rappere jobber de to med ord. Deres liv er truet på grunn av deres bruk av frie ord. De er våre kolleger. Vi oppfordrer Oslo kommune til å gjøre dem til æresborgere av Oslo. Alle som skader Toomaj Salehi og Saman Yasin begår en utilgivelig forbrytelse.

Vi ønsker å gjøre alt vi kan for å forhindre det. “Ikke gråt hvis jeg dør i morgen fordi du ikke var ved min side i dag,” sa Toomaj Salehi kort før arrestasjonen. Toomaj og Saman: Vi er ved din side

Sverre Pedersen                                           Hans Ole Rian
Styreleder Freemuse                                   Styreleder Safemuse

Kurdish artist Saman Yasin
Saman Yasin was arrested in Iran and has been sentenced to death.
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