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Iran releases singer arrested for protest song

October 4, 2022

Shervin Hajipour has been released on bail and is awaiting trail. He was detained by police shortly after his song in support of feminist protests across the country went viral.

Shervin Hajipour
Hajipour's viral video has disappeared from his social media accountsImage: Khaled Desouki/AFP/Getty Images

A popular Iranian singer was released from detention on bail on Tuesday. Shervin Hajipour was jailed after his song in support of protests over the death of Mahsa Amini went viral.

Hajipour's emotional performance of his song "Baraye," which featured messages posted on Twitter about the reasons behind the protests, had millions of views within days. The song has also been featured in many videos about the demonstrations.

It has since been removed from his Instagram account.

Why are Iranians protesting?

Massive unrest has swept Iran following the death of Amini, 22, on September 16. The Iranian Kurdish woman was visiting the capital Tehran on vacation with her family. She was detained by the capital's religious police, who alleged she was not properly wearing her hijab.

Amini then died under mysterious circumstances after being brought to a detention center for women who are found in violation of religious statutes in the Islamic Republic.

Women and their allies have been staging demonstrations to demand an end to sexist restrictions on their freedoms and to demand bodily autonomy.

Police clampdowns on protests have left dozens of people dead.

President Ebrahim Raisi tried to appeal for unity on Tuesday, acknowledging the government's "weaknesses and shortcomings," but repeating the official line that the protests are being led by foreign agents.

'The government is based on lies and killing'

Iranian writer, filmmaker and activist Siba Shakib told DW that the sustained, determined nature of the protest movement was "amazing."

"They go with nothing in their hands, no weapon, no protection, no helmet, nothing. And they stand in front of these extremely well-trained and extremely well-equipped people, and they lose their lives for their beliefs," she said.

"The current government in Iran has built its power on lies and on killing people," Shakib said. "People have been saying it clearly all over the country for so many decades," she added. "They don't want a religious government."

The interview with Siba Shakib was conducted by DW's Ben Fajzullin

es/rt (AFP, dpa, AP)