Composer and music producer Mehdi Rajabian has told his friends and supporters he was summoned to court and then arrested.
On August 10, Rajabian announced on social media that he had been summoned to the Revolutionary Courts on the charge of “publishing [video clips of] women singing and dancing” to his album Middle Eastern.
“Today, I was summoned to the Cyber Affairs Department of the courts because I published [videos of] women singing and dancing as part of the Middle Eastern project," Rajabian wrote on Instagram and Twitter. "I went to the prosecutor’s office with an officer. My legal case was transferred to Branch 6 of the Revolutionary Courts of Sari, and I will have to attend for questioning and interrogations tomorrow morning. In my official charges it specifically listed ‘the publication of women singing and dancing.’”
After reporting to the prosecutor’s office for questioning on Tuesday, August 11, Rajabian was detained for several hours. He was eventually released on bail pending trial.
Rajabian’s album Middle Eastern was awarded a silver medal at the 2019 Global Music Awards and was well received by audiences. The album was created and produced as part of a collaboration of various artists from 12 countries and was released by Sony in March 2019.
In 2015, Mehdi Rajabian and his brother Hossein Rajabian were each sentenced to six years’ imprisonment and monetary fines by Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Courts for launching Barg Music, a website that released underground and unlicensed songs. This sentence was later reduced to three years’ imprisonment and a fine of 20 million tomans by Branch 54 of the Court of Appeals of Tehran.
In June 2016, Mehdi and Hossein Rajabian reported to Evin Prison to serve their prison sentences.
During his imprisonment, Mehdi Rajabian was granted medical leave on several occasions because he has Multiple Sclerosis [MS].
Read Mehdi Rajabian's article for English PEN about music as resistance and his time in Evin Prison.