Iranian musician Mehdi Rajabian arrested for working with women

Iranian musician Mehdi Rajabian arrested for working with women

By Mark SavageBBC music reporter

  • 26 August 2020
Mehdi Rajabian
Image captionThe musician says a judge told him his music “encouraged prostitution”

Iranian musician Mehdi Rajabian says he is facing trial for working with female singers and dancers.

The 30-year-old, who has already been imprisoned twice on charges relating to his music, says he was arrested two weeks ago over his latest project.

The album, which is not yet complete, is due to include female vocalists – who are effectively banned in Iran.

Iran’s Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance have not yet responded to the BBC’s request for comment.

“This regime wants to stifle my voice,” Rajabian told the BBC. “They insist that I stop playing music.”

The musician, who is based in Sari in northern Iran, says he was summoned by the security police on 10 August, who arrested him and took him to court.

Rajabian says a judge told him his latest project “encouraged prostitution”. He was freed only because his family was able to post bail.

“If I make music, they will immediately remove my bail,” said the musician. “I have to wait for the day of judgment for now.”

Rajabian said the arrest came after he gave an interview to the BBC about his forthcoming album; and the publication of a video featuring renowned Persian classical dancer Helia Bandeh interpreting his music.

The BBC has contacted Iran’s Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance for comment and clarification on the case, but has yet to receive a response.Skip Instagram post by middleeasternprojecthttps://www.instagram.com/p/B2w28QoH4xX/embed/captioned/?cr=1&v=12&rd=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.bbc.com&rp=%2Fnews%2Fentertainment-arts-53907674#%7B%22ci%22%3A0%2C%22os%22%3A11142.064999992726%7D

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