Iran: 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]
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 YouTube.com had been viewed close to 100,000 times in January 2013.
The artist’s appeal letter
Freemuse’s appeal letter to the Supreme Leader, the Head of the Judiciary, and the President of The Islamic Republic of Iran