Mehdi Yarrahi, an Iranian singer who had been arrested for a song criticizing compulsory hijab rules, was released on bail after spending a month and a half in custody, one of his legal representatives says.
Lawyer Zahra Minuei said on the social media platform X that Yarrahi was released from Tehran’s Evin prison on October 18. She shared a photograph of the smiling singer holding a bouquet of flowers.
He was granted bail after the start of his trial on a litany of charges, including "encouraging corruption and prostitution, creating and disseminating content that contravenes moral and public decency, inciting individuals to commit crimes and propaganda against the system," Minuei said.
The lawyer said she expected the verdict to be pronounced in the coming days.
Yarrahi's case "is emblematic of a broader trend in Iran, where several musicians have faced detention, arrest, or prosecution within the past 12 months for their peaceful advocacy of women's and human rights amid nationwide anti-state protests that erupted last year,” according to the Norway-based Iran Human Rights organization.
Yarrahi was arrested on August 28 following the release of the song Roosarito, or Your Headscarf in English, which was accompanied by a video showing women in various social settings without their mandatory headscarves, some dancing to the music.
Yarrahi dedicated the song to the "brave women of Iran who shine courageously at the forefront of the ‘Women Life Freedom’ movement,’" a reference to the monthslong nationwide protests sparked by the September 2022 death of Mahsa Amini while she was in police custody for an alleged hijab violation.
As a protest against Yarrahi's arrest, Iranian social media users posted and shared videos of their own dance performances and renditions of his songs.
A growing number of women have refused to wear a head covering since the Woman, Life, Freedom protest movement erupted in September last year.
Many of them have been arrested and prosecuted, while dozens of businesses have been closed for failing to enforce compulsory hijab rules for women visitors.