These two shocking videos show a defiant rapper who supports the ongoing protest against the Iranian clerical regime seen before – and after – an interview with the police.
Toomaj Salehi was seized in a raid involving more than 60 Islamic Republic IRGC agents in the village of Gerde Bishe in the province of Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari Province.
The arrest of Toomaj was revealed by the German-Iranian dissident Kazem Moussavi who said: “Toomaj and his friends who were arrested with him are threatened with torture and execution.”
The claim appears to have been borne out in this footage obtained by CEN that shows him, first of all, defying the Iranian authorities in a social media posting and calling for more people to join the protests, before completely retracting it as he is then seen seemingly beaten and blindfolded and being held by security agents.
In the first video, he is seen staring into the camera as he says: “Tomorrow we will join (the protests) with even more people.”
He then repeats twice: “Run away. I’m not saying this in a friendly way.”
But in the second video, blindfolded and apparently held in front of the camera, he says: “I was misunderstood in what I said.
“I was just saying in a friendly way to run away. But of course, I didn’t mean you (The security forces).”
The government-backed Fars News agency also reported Toomaj’s arrest saying that the admission by the rapper confirmed him as one of “the leaders of the riots who promoted violence” on social media.
The newsagency is linked with the Iranian regime’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps which the US government has branded a terrorist organization.
He had been reportedly arrested in September last year for his reported anti-regime songs before being released eight days later and told he faced a trial. He was given a prison sentence that was temporarily suspended last year.
A spokeswoman for the Senate of the National Iranian Congress Sheina Vojoudi said he knew that they were about to arrest him and apparently sent a message to a friend saying “we have the power and do not mourn. We are at war [with the Islamic Republic].”
Iranian officials claimed he was trying to escape the country when he was seized, which was rejected by Sheina Vojoudi.
She added that his uncle had said he was being severely tortured and they feared for his life.