Jacob Mendez
Jacob Mendez

The Grammy winner was sentenced to nearly four years in prison. He also has to write a song about “American crimes”

The American organization defending freedom of speech, PEN America, demanded the artist’s release on Saturday.

Hit “Baraya” (“Because”) has become the unofficial anthem of young people demonstrating during the wave of Iranian protests lasting from autumn 2022 to summer 2023, which broke out across the country after the death of a young Kurdish woman detained by the moral police. Mahsy Amini. The lyrics of the song, without directly mentioning the protests, list their causes.

Shervin Hajipour (Shervin Hajipur) was convicted of “propaganda against the system” and “calling for protests,” the Iran International website reported. The recording has over 1.7 million views.

The creative freedom ranking conducted by PEN America shows that Iran is among the leading countries imprisoning creators and writers. In 2022 alone, 57 such people were imprisoned.

The song begins with the words “to dance in the streets”, “because of the fear we feel when kissing”, “because of my sister, your sister, our sisters”. The text is a collection of reasons why young Iranians decided to oppose the ayatollahs’ regime. They were written by various people on Twitter and put together by Hajipur.

The song ends with the slogan that became the main rallying cry of the protests: “women, life, freedom.” After it was published on social media, Hajipur was arrested. In October 2022, he spent several days in prison and was released on bail. According to Iranian human rights activists, the 26-year-old singer is accused of “propaganda against the regime” and “incitement to violence.” He faced a total of up to 6 years in prison.

Jill Biden she said at the Grammy Awards that the song “Baraje” can “unite, inspire and ultimately even change the world.” She added that it was a “strong and poetic call for freedom and respect for women’s rights.”

Reacting to the award, Hajipur wrote on Instagram: “We won.” Iranian state media did not report his success, the Associated Press reported.