The UN experts on cultural rights and on freedom of expression, Karima Bennoune and David Kaye called June 24 for the release of artists imprisoned by the Islamic Republic of Iran. In particular, they called upon Iran to release two musicians, Mehdi Rajabian and Yousef Emadi, and a filmmaker, Hossein Rajabian, charged with "insulting Islamic sanctities," "propoganda against the State," and "conducting illegal activities in the audiovisual affaires including through producing prohibited audiovisual material and performing an illegal and underground music site." The three artists, after appeal, were sentenced to three years in prison and fined 50 million Rial ($1,658) each. While they acknowledged that their prison sentences had been reduced from six years, the experts called the sentences "unacceptable and in complete violation of international human rights law binding on Iran."
From Jurist, June 24. Used with permission.
Note: The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran reports that while the sentences were reduced to three years, the fines were increased to 200 million rials (some $6,600). The account also states that three are under pressure to make televised "confessions." Televised forced "confessions" in politically motivated cases, often extracted under the threat of or actual torture, are a common practice in Iran.