Thu. Jul 18th, 2024

THE life of Iran’s ‘Tupac Shakur’ was dramatically saved yesterday – thanks to Coldplay and The Sun.

Chris Martin took the unusual step last month of speaking out about the plight of Iranian rapper and activist Toomaj Salehi.

Toomaj Salehi’s life was dramatically saved thanks to Coldplay and The SunYouTube

GettyAlongside Coldplay and Chris Martin, pressure was put on by a host of other celebs[/caption]

The Yellow singer was moved to act and signed a protest letter calling on the Iran regime to immediately release the talented artist, who was set to be executed.

And today Iran’s regime vowed to spare the rapper’s life, with campaigners citing The Sun’s exclusive coverage of Coldplay’s intervention as “pivotal”.

Iran’s Supreme Court overturned the death sentence against Mr Salehi, on the basis that it was “contrary to Iranian law and excessive.”

Mr Salehi’s cousin, Arezou Eghbali Babadi said: “The international community’s solidarity and support have played a crucial role in the release of Toomaj Salehi. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to all who contributed in any way to this outcome.”

Jemimah Steinfeld, CEO of Index on Censorship said: “While of course we welcome the Supreme Court’s decision today it should not have been needed as Toomaj should never have been arrested in the first place. His courageous music, standing for women and fighting for the rights of everyone in Iran should be celebrated.”

Caoilfhionn Gallagher KC, international counsel for Mr Salehi’s family, added: “Toomaj Salehi uses his powerful art – his rapping, his music, his words – to support human rights, democracy and freedom for the Iranian people.

“For this, the Iranian authorities have targeted him for years, attempting to silence him through arrests, imprisonment, torture, assaults, and even a death sentence.”

Alongside Coldplay pressure was put on Iran by Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who spent six years incarcerated in Iran on false spying charges and 100 artists – including Sting, Jade Thirlwall and Damien Rice, DJ Rob da Bank, and authors Margaret Atwood and Elif Shafak.

Mr Salehi’s rap music and videos have been critical of Iranian authorities.

He was arrested and sentenced to six years’ imprisonment, but then released in 2023.

Two weeks later he was re-arrested after recording a video in which he spoke about having been tortured in prison.

In January, he was sentenced to one year’s imprisonment – but then the Isfahan Revolutionary Court sentenced him to death.

His crime was “participating in rebelling against state”, “gathering and colluding against national security”, and “propaganda against state”.


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