Mehdi Yarrahi
Mehdi Yarrahi | Image via @mehdiyarrahi Instagram

Iranian Singer Mehdi Yarrahi Sentenced to More Than Two Years in Prison, with 74 Lashes

Iranian pop singer and songwriter Mehdi Yarrahi has received a verdict of two years and eight months in prison along with 74 lashes for a critical song, ‘Roosarito’ (which translates to “your headscarf”). The song criticised Iran’s law mandating women wear hijabs.

The singer is currently out on bail, set at 150 billion rials. He was jailed in August 2023 and released in October. Mehdi Yarrahi’s lawyer, Zahra Minooei, has clarified that, according to Islamic penal law, he will receive a reduction of one year in prison.

Mehdi Yarrahi – ‘Roosarito’

Mehdi Yarrahi’s arrest occurred four days after he released ‘Roosarito,’ a song addressing the death of Mahsa Amini, a young Kurdish woman who died in police custody on September 16, 2022, accused of violating the strict hijab dress code. The government-associated media labelled the song as “illegal and contrary to the ethics and norms of Islamic society.”

The charges against Mehdi Yarrahi include “producing, sending, distributing, and publishing obscene and immoral content through computer and telecommunication systems” and “encouraging people towards corruption and obscenity,” along with “propaganda against the system.”

Yarrahi’s conviction follows similar punishments given to singers like Toomaj Salehi and Saman Yasin, who also faced imprisonment for supporting the uprising.

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