Iran Human RightsIran: 'Unauthorized' musicians arrested

Iran: ‘Unauthorized’ musicians arrested

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AKI: Police in the Iranian capital Tehran are cracking down on underground musical groups in a ‘moralization’ campaign which kicked off over the weekend. Adnkronos International

Tehran, 24 April (AKI) – Police in the Iranian capital Tehran are cracking down on underground musical groups in a ‘moralization’ campaign which kicked off over the weekend. Security officials carried out raids on three unauthorized recording studios and arrested six members of three diferrent rap and rock groups who had not received the green light to play from the ministry of culture and Islamic orientation. Among those arrested is a top rapper, Reza Pishro, who is very popular among young Iranians. His illegally sold CDs are best selling hits across the country.

For the past two days, police have also been patrolling the apartment building of another star of Iranian rap music, Soroush Lashkari of the Hichkas (Nobody) group, who is at large to escape arrest. The latest album of the Hichkas, ”the jungle of asphalt’, is considered homage to the Persian empire before it was “invaded by Arab bedouins to be converted to Islam” as one of the group’s lyrics says.

In the Islamic Republic underground music is very popular among young people and all previous attempts to stop this phenomenon have failed.

According to unofficial estimates, over 150 rap professional groups are active in the country and illegally record albums. Some of them have even performed in concerts abroad.

Under new rules which became effective over the weekend, police can arrest and detain women who do not respect the Islamic dress code.

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