Iranian authorities have released rapper Amir Tataloo on bail after 62 days in detention.
Media reported that Tataloo, who has not received approval from the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance to release his music or videos, had been arrested on August 23 for “encouraging corruption and prostitution among the youth.” On Tuesday, October 25 Tehran prosecutor Abbas Jafari Dolatabadi said that Amir Tataloo had “apologized.”
The 29-year old rapper, whose real name is Amir Hossein Maghsoudlou, enjoys considerable popularity across Iran. Following his arrest, his fans rushed to Instagram and other social networks to demand his release. Tataloo has more than 3.2 million followers on Instagram and 1.25 million on Facebook.
The controversial star of Iran’s underground music had been arrested once before, in December 2013. He was released a few days later after he issued a written statement promising to refrain from immoral activity.
Authorities have most likely targeted Tataloo as part of a larger crackdown on the distribution of unsanctioned music in Iran. But the singer has often been publicly supportive of the regime of the Islamic Republic and its purported values. In 2015, he released a video showing him on an Iranian military ship with soldiers just days before Iran signed an agreement with world leaders on its nuclear program. He has also voiced support for the practice of compulsory hijab for Iran’s women.