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regular-article-logo Thursday, 29 February 2024

Iran prosecutes pop singer who urged headscarf removal

Mehdi Yarrahi's latest song demanded that headscarves be made optional for women in Iran. An earlier song of his was a soundtrack to the 2022 protests over the death of Jina Mahsa Amini

Deutsche Welle Published 28.08.23, 11:57 AM
Women were taking off their headscarves following last year's protests in Iran

Women were taking off their headscarves following last year's protests in Iran Deutsche Welle

Authorities in Iran have launched legal action against a male pop singer whose latest song encouraged women to take off their mandatory headscarves, the judiciary said on Sunday.

Mehdi Yarrahi released a song on Friday entitled "Roosarito," which means "Your Headscarf" in Farsi.

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The song expresses support for last year's protests against Iran's mandatory headscarf policy, which erupted after Jina Mahsa Amini died in the custody of the country's morality police.

"A legal case was filed against Mehdi Yarrahi following the release of an illegal song which defies the morals and customs of the Islamic society," the judiciary's Mizan Online website said.

What did Mehdi Yarrahi's song say?

The lyrics of Yarrahi's song call on women to "take off their (head)scarves" and said the Iranian people demand that it be made optional.

The music video also includes clips of women dancing with their hair uncovered and contains the protest slogan "Woman, life, freedom."

Yarrahi won the prize for best pop singer in 2018 at the Fajr festival, Iran's most important government-organized music event.

But he has criticized authorities in recent years.

Another of his songs, "Soroode Zan" or "Woman's Anthem," became popular among the protest movement, particularly in universities. The judiciary said the new legal action would also cover this song.

Yarrahi has also criticized what he says is the marginalization of people in his native Khuzestan province, which has a large Arab minority.

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