An Iranian musician and composer has been sentenced to more than 10 years in prison and dozens of lashes on charges including "insulting" Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, amid an intensified clampdown on anti-government protests.
Erfan Khalilian, 23, was arrested in the central city of Isfahan in September and sentenced to nine years and eight months in prison by the city’s Revolutionary Court and one year and 74 lashes by the General Court, the Committee for Follow-Up on the Status of Detainees said on January 25.
It said Khalilian was released from Isfahan Dastgerd Prison on January 23 for a one-week medical leave.
The musician was charged with "insulting the leadership, insulting the founder of the revolution (Ruhollah Khomeini), attending illegal gatherings and disrupting national security."
At least 34 musicians have been arrested since the eruption of nationwide protests triggered by the September death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in the custody of morality police. Some of them have been released, but 20 remain behind bars.
More than 500 people have been killed in the crackdown unleashed by the Iranian authorities on the ongoing demonstrations and over 18,000 have been detained, activists say.
Around 20 people have been handed capital punishment in connection with the protests. Four of them have been executed so far amid international outrage.
Many detainees have been handed long-term prison sentences.