Toulouse, Haute-Garonne, Occitania, France, 2023-05-14. Iranian diaspora protest to demand the release of rapper Toomaj Salehi: detained and tortured for seven months for supporting anti-regime protests, he faced the death penalty. The popular uprising began in Iran eight months ago after the death of Jani Mahsa Amini; since then, the mullahs regime s crackdown has led to mass arrests and executions of protesters. Photo by Patrick Batard / Hans Lucas. REUTERS/

DUBAI (Reuters) – Well-known Iranian rapper Toomaj Salehi, who supported the protest movement that sprang up in Iran last year, has avoided a death sentence and been jailed for six years and three months, his lawyer told Monday’s edition of the daily newspaper Shargh.

Salehi had expressed support online and in his songs for a wave of nationwide protest triggered by the death in police custody of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Kurdish Iranian woman arrested for wearing “inappropriate attire”.

[aesop_image img=”” panorama=”off” credit=”Swedish Member of Partliament Alireza Akhondi speaks during a rally and press conference at the US Capitol in support of freedom in Iran. Progressives for Iranian Democracy (PFID), a woman-led organization fighting for freedom Iran held the event with National Solidarity Group of Iran, a DC-based organization, as part of PFID’s week of meetings with members of Congress and the White House. REUTERS/” align=”center” lightbox=”on” captionsrc=”custom” captionposition=”left” revealfx=”off” overlay_revealfx=”off”]

Salehi was convicted of “corruption on earth”, which covers a broad range of offences including those related to Islamic morality, and can carry the death sentence.

His lawyer Rosa Etemad Ansari was quoted as saying Salehi had been acquitted of insulting the Supreme Leader and cooperation with hostile governments, and had been moved out of solitary confinement into the general section of his prison.

In November, Iranian media had published a video of Salehi in detention, in which he was blindfolded and he renounced previous comments critical of the authorities.

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(Reporting by Dubai Newsroom; Editing by Kevin Liffey)