Iran: Petition in support of 26 year-old Iranian musician

13 October 2010
On 1 October 2010, an online petition in support of Iranian singer Arya Aramnejad was started. After the first two weeks, over 800 people had signed the petition. The 26 year-old musician was imprisoned and held in solitary confinement for singing his famous song ‘Ali Barkhir’ (‘O Ali raise up’) which he composed after the Ashura uprising in Iran.

Iranian artist, singer and composer Arya Aramnejad was arrested and reportedly spent two months of his detention in solitary confinement, charged with acting against national security. He was then released on bail and now faces heavy charges by the Iranian authorities.

The organisers of the petition write that during his most recent court hearing, Arya Aramnejad briefly described some of the physical and psychological tortures he was subjected to in prison. These abuses allegedly included “being severely beaten upon asking for medical attention for his heart condition, being photographed naked, and being forced to walk on floors covered with the blood of a prisoner with AIDS who had committed suicide.”

Arya Aramnejad also is said to have received death threats from the Iranian revolutionary guards, and his wife, who has had no political affiliation with any organisation, has been threatened with arrest in the event that Aramnejad refuses to comply with the government’s requests, writes his supporters on the petition page.


Arya Aramnejad
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‘Free Arya Aramnejad’

Listen to the song ‘Ali Barkhir’ (‘O Ali raise up’)


Courtroom testimony

Excerpts from Arya Aramnejad’s courtroom testimony. The transcript was provided by the blogger Azarmehr

“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 recognize 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 a 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 criticize. 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…

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-interested] 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.”


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