Iran: Music distributors await appeal decision for six years in prison
Two musicians and a filmmaker who were jointly sentenced to six years in prison and fined 200 million toman (about USD 66,650) each for “insulting the sacred” and “propaganda against the state,” are awaiting a ruling by a Tehran appeals court, according to the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran.
Mehdi Rajabian, a musician and founder of BargMusic, an underground music distributor in Iran, along with his brother, Hossein Rajabian, an independent filmmaker and photographer, and Yousef Emadi, a musician, were put on trial in May 2015 at Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court presided by Judge Moghisseh.
“The trial lasted 15 minutes and the defendants were accused of encouraging indifference towards religion by promoting underground music,” a source told the Campaign. They were tried together because they were considered collaborators in a joint plot.”
The three music distributors were arrested by Revolutionary Guards’ Intelligence Organization in October 2013 and held in solitary confinement for more than two months in Evin Prison’s Ward 2-A, run by the Guards’ Intelligence Organization and put under intense pressure to make false televised confessions.
Following their arrest, more than 400 Iranians, including dozens of prominent artists, signed a petition calling on the Culture and Islamic Guidance Minister to put an end to the crackdown on the artistic community.
“The Appeals Court will hear their case in January 2016 at Branch 54 of the Revolutionary Court to be presided by Judge Babaei. They are hoping the court will change their sentence,” the source added.