Three Iranian musicians started three-year jail sentences at the weekend for distributing underground music online, after an appeals court upheld their conviction from a trial last year.
In a three-minute hearing in 2015, the trio, made up of Mehdi and Hossein Rajabian and Yousef Emadi, were found guilty of “insulting Islamic sanctities”, “spreading propaganda against the system” and “illegal audio-visual activities”. The defendants allegedly ran the now blocked website, Barg Music, and reportedly did not have access to lawyers during the trial.
The three men, who have been described by Amnesty as “prisoners of conscience”, were arrested in 2013 by the elite Revolutionary Guards. Confessions extracted from them during their initial jail time, which was mostly spent in solitary confinement, was used as a basis for their conviction. This has been widely condemned by human rights groups, whilst Amnesty also claim that the three men have been subjected to beatings and electric shocks while in custody.
It was revealed in April, amidst growing fears for a number of prisoners held on political grounds, that a new documentary called ‘Raving Iran’ is set to be toured internationally at a number of film festivals. It follows two producers in Tehran’s underground techno scene and you can watch the trailer for it below.
Rob McCallum is DJ Mag’s digital news writer. Follow him on Twitter here.