Iranian rapper Toomaj Salehi released from jail



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You are watching CBC News Network I’m Natasha FAA we want to bring you an update now on a story that we’ve been covering extensively for over a year because Iran has just released popular hip-hop musician tumas SEI from prison on bail you might remember that sahi had

Been detained since his arrest last year for showing support to anti-government protests following the death in custody of 22-year-old Masa amini in September of 2022 now Iran experienced months of Nationwide protests and the unrest represented one of the fiercest challenges to the Islamic Republic since its establishment in

1979 journalist Naya tzou has been tracking this story for us from the very beginning in fact she broke T maa’s arrest story she’s joining us today from Milan with more on his release nayat what’s the latest on Tash sahi well Natasha the latest that we know is that yesterday in the early

Morning hours his family and friends friends had gathered in a small crowd in front of the esphahan Central Prison to really give the rapper a heartfelt welcome um that did not happen authorities resisted until quite late yesterday actually right before midnight they did not release him out of the

Gates of prison they chose to drop him off at an undisclosed location in the city and those in his inner circle and taj’s Inner Circle who I’ve talked to uh they claim that essentially the regime agents who were on site wanted to really torment the rapper until the 11th hour

And they also wanted to really prevent any images of circulating of you know Tage in front of of the jail and um really they saw this as a tactic by the regime but uh as I’m hearing from people close to the rapper he is mentally in good spirits physically that’s a

Different story as you know Natasha we’ve talked about the tortures that he reportedly endured solitary confinement he suffers from several broken bones in his body from his finger to his ribs and his legs so he really um according to those close to him needs medical attention urgently but uh yes today um

Based on a hefty bail that was posted the rapper is free temporarily and uh obviously with that no longer has to face those tortures um that that he dealt with in in detainment nay as you were speaking we were showing an image of Tage it looks at night he’s in a sort

Of a gray jogger suit and carrying a a bouquet of flowers is that him getting out of the prison H that is not him getting out of the prison that is him basically being captured somewhere in the city of esphahan and that is exactly that is exactly the tactic that those

Close to him were referring to um the regime obviously it’s really bad if one can call it that for too much to be captured in an image outside of Prison Walls immediately so they did that uh reportedly to prevent that from happening okay so why because as I said

It was just over a year ago we started reporting on this together and um and you broke so much of the stories and there was so much International pressure to release theage the the stories of the brutality that you brought to the world about how he was being tortured in the

Prison the so much outcry why now nayatt well this is a question that many people are asking and the timing is definitely noteworthy a lot of Iranians are of course rejoicing his fans are rejoicing if you look at social media it’s tweets by the thousands but really a lot of

Activists and Advocates are saying it’s a way for the regime to distract from really this bubbling anti-regime sentiment as you mentioned and you referred to the protest T that have been happening and Iran is really in a cycle of anti-regime protest movements and actually this month uh a lot of Iranians

Are commemorating the fourth anniversary of bloody November Natasha you covered um that Crackdown by the regime where reportedly 1,500 protesters were killed and these are protesters too much dedicated many of his songs to um but ultimately many of the people who are close to the rapper they feel that it

Was the inter National media and political attention on his case that really pushed the regime to perhaps reconsider essentially in a nutshell it seems like the rapper became too much of a liability behind Prison Walls and given that this really Hefty bail sum was posted they are actually really able

To control his movement likely he he may think twice before speaking the way that he he was was before um so they sort of saw it as we will release him and therefore we can control him more easily and particularly some activists have told me that they think the regime hopes

The international media attention on Tage will die down um I just have to note here that it is important to say that he’s out on bail he still faces all the charges um that were on on his on his case File and so at any point of of

Course he could be arrested again so this will undoubtedly play a role in decisions he makes and whether or how to behave and how to speak out okay then we’ll turn to you again as the story develops journalist Naya tzou joining us from Milan Italy thank you so much thank you Natasha

Iranian rapper Toomaj Salehi, who has been detained since his arrest last year for showing support for anti-government protests, was released on bail from Isfahan prison on Saturday.

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