Iran: International artists support imprisoned Iranian musician


16 January 2013

International artists support imprisoned Iranian singer

In a letter to the Iranian authorities, world renowned artists join Freemuse in a protest against the imprisonment of their Iranian colleague Arya Aramnejad.

  The artists’ appeal letter [PDF]

Click to enlarge

Singer Lapiro de Mbanga, who successfully ran a case against Cameroon in The United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention because of his wrongful imprisonment, is one of the internationally renowned artists who protests against the imprisonment of the Iranian musician Arya Aramnejad who was recently sentenced to three months in prison because of a song he has written.

In a letter to the Iranian authorities the artists express deep concern about the continuous persecution of their colleague.

Visual artist Larissa Sansour has added her name to the letter of appeal as has producer Deeyah. From South Africa comes a protest from singer-songwriter Roger Lucey, who experienced severe censorship during apartheid where he was attacked by undercover police. His young colleague Outspoken, one of Africa’s foremost rappers and performers, supports the campaign from Harare as does rapper and performer Behrang Miri from Stockholm.

In the letter the artists join Freemuse in a call for the release of Arya Aramnejad. The government of Iran is reminded that although Arya Aramnejad in his songs has expressed views critical to the state, this in no way is contradictory to his rights as a citizen to express concerns of social and political issues in Iran.

Arya Aramnejad is imprisoned in the Babol Prison (Mati Kala Babol) serving a sentence of 91 days. He has not been represented by any lawyer.

The group of international artists are “calling for the immediate and unconditional withdrawal of all charges against Mr. Aramnejad in accordance with Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Iran is a signatory.”

Lapiro de Mbanga – Larissa Sansour – Tongai Leslie Makawa (Outspoken) – Deeyah – Roger Lucey – Behrang Miri

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

Arya Aramnejad
Click to open or download artists' appeal letter
The artist’s appeal letter

Click to open / download the appeal letter in PDF
Freemuse’s appeal letter to the Supreme Leader, the Head of the Judiciary, and the President of The Islamic Republic of Iran


More information

Wikipedia – the open encyclopedia:

Arya Aramnejad’s official website:


Photo of Arya for download

Audio for radio

Contact Freemuse

for mp3-files of Arya’s music


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

Go to top
Related reading on

Freemuse campaign: Singer Arya Aramnejad released from prison
Iranian singer Arya Aramnejad, who was given 91 days prison sentence, is out prison. He was allegedly released due to international reactions.
29 January 2013
Iran: International artists support imprisoned Iranian musician
In a letter to the Iranian authorities, world renowned artists join Freemuse in a protest against the imprisonment of their Iranian colleague Arya Aramnejad
16 January 2013
Iran: Singer Arya Aramnejad once again in prison
Singer Arya Aramnejad is serving a 91 days prison sentence. Freemuse has once again protested to the Iranian authorities against the imprisonment of the Iranian singer
10 January 2013
Iran: Exiled Iranian musician responds upright to death threats
This interview with Shahin Najafi and Günter Wallraff took place five months after a death sentence was issued against the singer Shahin Najafi
24 October 2012
Iran: Banned Israeli Persian-language album gains popularity
The music of Rita Jahan-Foruz – an Iranian-born, Israel-based singer – is becoming increasingly popular in both Iran and Israel, as tensions grow between the two countries
21 August 2012
Iran: Cancellation of several pop concerts
A new wave of concert cancellations started from Tehran and has spread throughout the country, reported Small Media from London
05 July 2012
Iran: Death sentence against Iranian rapper in Germany
A cleric issued a death sentence against Iranian rapper and rock guitarist Shahin Najafi for having produced a song which is believed to be offensive to Imam Naqi
10 May 2012
Iran: Singer Arya Aramnejad prosecuted for his songs
28-year-old Iranian singer Arya Aramnejad, who was recently released after his second term in prison, has been informed he has been given a one-year prison sentence
23 April 2012
Iran: Arya – the Victor Jara of my homeland
Iranian journalist and poet Sepideh Jodeyri compares the life and music of imprisoned musician Arya Aramnejad with Chile’s revolutionary singer Victor Jara
12 January 2012
Iran: Singer Arya Aramnejad arrested again
On 8 November 2011 singer Arya Aramnejad was arrested, beaten and taken to solitary confinement in the Intelligence Ministry’s detention centere in Sari
23 November 2011
Iran: Musicians are losing hope
Members of the Iranian electronic rock band The Casualty Process spoke in the US about being censored and suppressed by Iranian religious authorities
01 November 2011
Iran: New music censorship law
Mohammad Mirzamani, the General Director of the Music Office in the Ministry of Culture in Tehran, told that a new music censorship law is being prepared by the ministry
02 September 2011
Iran: How they rocked in Tehran before the revolution
On the occassion of two new albums with music of Kourosh and Googoosh, Jessica Hundley wrote an article for Los Angeles Times about music in Iran before the revolution
22 August 2011
Iran: Government bans famous Ramadan singer
The 70-year-old singer Mohammad Reza Shajarian’s beloved Ramadan song ‘Rabbana’ is banned by the Iranian authorities, reported BBC’s Karen Zarindast from Iran
08 August 2011
Iran: Report about cultural censorship in Iran
This report, published by Small Media in July 2011, addresses some of the major concerns in the fields of literature, cinema, theatre and music in Iran
05 July 2011
USA/Cuba: Impossible Music Session 4 – Not appearing: Escuadrón Patriota
The ‘Impossible Music Session’ no 4 takes place on Friday 10 June 2011 at 8:00 PM in Pfizer Auditorium in Brooklyn, New York, USA
18 May 2011
Armenia / Iran: Banned live music thrives in neighbouring country
During the Persian New Year, posters advertising concerts by banned Iranian musicians can be seen all over Yerevan, capital of the ex-Soviet republic Armenia
30 March 2011
Iran: The nations’ top singer opted for a life in exile
A sharp voice of political dissent, Marzieh was a celebrated interpreter of traditional Persian music whose career in her native Iran was silenced by the clerical dictatorship
29 November 2010
Iran: Iranian authorities inspired by the Nazis?
‘Degenerate music’ was a term used by the Nazis in Germany in the 1930s to describe certain forms of music. The same term is increasingly adapted by Iranian authorities
11 November 2010
Iran: Petition in support of 26 year-old Iranian musician
On 1 October 2010, an online petition in support of Iranian singer Arya Aramnejad was started. He was imprisoned for singing his famous song ‘Ali Barkhir’ (‘O Ali raise up’)
13 October 2010