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Fri Sep 4, 2020, 08:20 AM

Iranian musician Mehdi Rajabian to stand trial for collaborating with female artists

Source: Washington Post

Iranian musician Mehdi Rajabian to stand trial for collaborating with female artists

By Rick Noack
9/3/2020, 2:42:12 p.m.

Mehdi Rajabian, a composer and musician, received an urgent message last month from Iranís domestic security agency: Turn yourself in as quickly as possible.

He was soon in handcuffs.

On Saturday, Rajabian is set to stand trial for working with female artists, according to activists who are monitoring his case. One of the performers in question ó dancer Helia Bandeh, who performed to his music in a video published online ó is based in the Netherlands, beyond the reach of Iranís justice system.

Even after serving previous prison terms over charges related to his work, Rajabian has approached the upcoming trial with defiance. ďI strongly believe in the philosophy and message of music, artistic independence and an uncensored world,Ē Rajabian said in a text messages from the Iranian city of Sari, after posting bail.

His trial comes amid a broader push by Iranís ultraconservatives to silence voices calling for an end to rules limiting the behavior and expression of women in the country ahead of next yearís presidential election.

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Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2020/09/03/iranian-musician-mehdi-rajabian-stand-trial-collaborating-with-female-artists/

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