Iran: Singer Arya Aramnejad once again in prison

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Iran:
Singer Arya Aramnejad once again in prison

Singer Arya Aramnejad has once again been imprisoned. In the end of December 2012, he was requested to present himself in a prison, and the artist is now serving a 91 days sentence.

Freemuse has — once again — protested against the imprisonment of the Iranian singer who critisised social and political conditions in Iran. Freemuse appeals to artists, individuals and organisations to support the campaign.

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Security forces arrested Arya Aramnejad for the first time in February 2010 and he spent 45 days in solitary confinement. He was later sentenced to six months imprisonment, a term he served from November 2011 until April 2012, when he was allowed out of prison for the Persian new year, Norouz.

The first court case issued against Arya Aramnejad was for the song ‘Ali Barkhiz’ (‘Ali Rise Up’, or ‘Wake Up, Ali’), which condemns the regime’s crackdown against the opposition during the presidential elections in 2009.

Allegedly a second court case was opened against the singer accusing him of acting against national security and spreading propaganda against the regime with the songs he had released on the Internet since 2010. Two of these songs are ‘Yek ruze khoob’ (‘A fine day’) and ‘Deltangi’ (‘Nostalgia’) – songs which express support of the Green Movement.

Ali Barkhiz
One version of the song ‘Ali Barkhiz’ which was posted on YouTube.com had been viewed close to 100,000 times in January 2013.


Click to open / download the appeal letter in PDF  Freemuse’s appeal letter [PDF]

Arya Aramnejad
 
 
 
Click to open / download the appeal letter in PDF
Appeal letter



Iran


Petition

On GoPetition.com, more than 2,000 persons have signed the petition ‘Drop all charges on Arya Aramnejad’:

www.gopetition.com

Court Defense

Arya Aramnejad’s defense speech against the court in 2012:

“I am standing before you in this court so that the Almighty will be a witness before you and I. A witness to what is happening today to our beloved Iran and to its brave sons and daughters. So that upon the judgement day when we are held accountable, those of us who stand proud and those of us who hold our heads down will remember that such is destiny. The final reward and punishment is only by God.

If justice was the benchmark, instead of me standing trial today, it should have been those who have disgraced Iran and Islam who should have been standing trial. The very people who want to plunder Iran’s wealth and use Islam to cover up their foray and despotism.

I was arrested on 15 February when the intelligence ministry agents broke into my house. They smashed up our furniture and rummaged through our belongings just to maximise their intimidation. This was all because of a song I had written that according to the gentlemen had ‘endangered the national security’. After that, I spent 44 days in solitary confinement where I was put under a series of emotional, mental and physical tortures. Allow me to describe just a small part of what I was put through:

- Hurling insults and profanities to belittle me, even ridiculing the way I looked- Intimidating me by threatening to arrest my wife, even though she has had no political activities or played a role in anything I have done- Insulting my war veteran brother and threatening to arrest him as well if I did not co-operate- Intelligence agent threatening me with death (He said to me I can easily kill you outside here with a single bullet and no one can question me)- Prison officials threatening me with execution- Keeping me in a 2 metre by 1.5 metre cell without any hygiene facilities that led to infected boils all over my body- Deliberate negligence in giving me my medication related to my heart problem- Putting me in a cell next to an inmate with AIDS and making me walk with bare feet on his blood after he had committed suicide by slashing his wrists- Giving me insinuating offensive information about my wife- Stripping me naked in front of an agent who was holding a camera in his hand, who kept laughing and asking me ‘are you scared?’ every time I protested at his immoral behaviour- Severe physical beating when I asked to see the prison doctor, beatings so bad that the marks were visible all over me for a long time- Chaining my hands and feet for long periods of time

And these were just a small glimpse of what I went through during my detention.

After the Ashura uprising which resulted in so many of my compatriots being killed, I felt it was my duty to condemn this inhumanity and use my musical talents in doing so. I wrote and composed a song, which became known as ‘Ali, Rise up’. The content of this song is to do with the exploitation of God, the Koran and the Imams by a bunch of impostors to achieve their demonic goals. In this song, I asked the Imams for help in uprooting lies and hypocrisy. Is it not strange that in these days to ask the Imams for help in battling against evil is considered a crime in our country?

Imam Hussein was martyred for good to triumph against evil, so should we not expect the same from his followers? Or are we just supposed to ceremoniously beat our heads and beat up our chests and pretend we despise tyrants and despots?

I do not recognise this man as our president! Am I then not a Muslim? On the day of Ashura, I chanted ‘God is Great’ and I am proud of calling His name. Surely whoever jails me for chanting ‘God is Great’ is a non-believer and an infidel himself.

Those who make out they are Muslims these days, themselves disregard the most basic teachings. They easily lie to nation of seventy million and make false promises, and feign that they want to glorify Iran and Islam. Iran and Islam are both much grander than having the need for such claimants.

The constitution has to be made clear. It gives me the right to criticise. It gives me the right to take part in gatherings without carrying weapons, it gives me the right to free speech and free thought. And because of this constitution that our fathers voted for, I am free not to be indifferent to the destiny of my country. Interestingly instead of being commended, I have to stand trial today for this.

Sadly in the report made by the intelligence ministry, it is stated that I have written an insulting song against Mu‘āwiya and posted it on my blog. Has the intelligence ministry now become defenders ofMu‘āwiya and Yazid? In another section of the report it says, I made up this song against the Supreme Leader, which is the most comical part of the report. The song is clearly against those who desecrated the sanctities of Ashura, but it seems the intelligence ministry is insistent that someone else is responsible for all this. Such is the illusion of power by those who seek the temporary reigns of power.

These policies of mass oppression and intimidation are dictated by which eternal power that justifies silence. Which divine laws allow such invasions of privacy into people’s homes and into the privacy of people’s private beliefs? and not tolerate the slightest of criticisms? These self-interest seeking persons who claim to be kinder child minders than our own mothers, not only think they own this land but consider any non-conformity a crime and trample on the basic rights of our citizens. I recommend, in a brotherly way, some reality check and some insight than just having your eyes fixated on the seats of power; for rectifying your mistakes in the future will be much harder.

Respected judge, I am worried today about your judgement, for my interrogators said you are their puppet and will do whatever they tell you to do. I hope God will reveal you the truth, so that God forbid, you will not be held accountable for what others have asked you do for them in another world.

In the end, I reject all charges against me and ask you to find me not guilty.”

Translated by Potkin Azarmehr


The Guardian – 18 April 2012:

‘Iranian singer Arya Aramnejad sentenced to a year in jail’

More news about Arya Aramnejad

Google – continuously updated:

Search: “Arya Aramnejad”


 
Press

Photo of Arya for download


Audio for radio
broadcasters:

Contact Freemuse for mp3-files of Arya’s music
 


Wikipedia – the open encyclopedia:

wikipedia.org/wiki/Arya_Aramnejad


Media coverage

Radio Zamaneh (online journal and radio):  radiozamaneh.com 

JARAS (online journal):  www.rahesabz.net 

Radio Farda (online journal and radio):  www.radiofarda.com 

IRANIAN (news website):  www.iranian.com 

Nedaye Sabze Azadi (online journal):  irangreenvoice.com 

Saham News (online journal):  sahamnews.net 

Mardomak (online journal):  www.mardomak.org 

Rahsa news (online journal):  www.rahsanews.com 

Mihan (journal):  www.mihan.net 

International Organisation To Preserve Human Rights In Iran (news website):  hriran.com 

Arya Aramnejad Official Website:  www.aryaaramnejad.net 

The news has become a hot news according to the most popular web 2.0 website in Persian (Balatarin):  balatarin.com 

 

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