Authorities in Iran have arrested Toomaj Salehi, a rapper who has gained fans among Iranians who are angry at the country’s Islamic establishment.
The semiofficial ISNA news agency claimed on its Telegram channel that Salehi was arrested on Sunday while he was trying to cross a western border.
However, an informed source said the rapper "never intended to leave the country and was arrested in [the south-western] Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari province, where he is originally from."
Salehi's Twitter account was deactivated hours after news of the singer's arrest was published.
The singer has been targeted in the past for his lyrics condemning state repression and injustice in Iran.
In September 2021, he was detained at his home in the central city of Isfahan and sent behind bars. He was accused of “propaganda against the regime” and "insulting the leadership."
The rapper was later released on bail amid widespread condemnation of his arrest by his supporters and human rights groups.