An open letter to world leaders for the immediate release of Toomaj Salehi

The Iranian rapper and activist is imprisoned and his life is at risk

The Gariwo Foundation is among the signatories of an appeal promoted by dozens of intellectuals, international politicians and non-governmental organizations for the immediate release of the Iranian rapper Toomaj Salehi, who will have to serve six years in prison and whose life is seriously in danger. 


Joe Biden, President of the United States
Charles Michel, President of the European Council
Rishi Sunak, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada
Anthony Albanese, Prime Minister of Australia
Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission
Roberta Metsola, President of European Parliament
Josep Borrell, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy
Leaders of the 27 Member States of the European Union
António Guterres, UN-General Secretary


Amnesty International International Human Rights Commission
Volker Türk, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights
Human Rights Watch


Your Excellencies,
Toomaj Salehi, a highly influential and dissident Iranian rapper and music writer, has accumulated widespread popularity in Iran. Toomaj has been an outspoken advocate for freedom of expression and has used his music to shed light on social and cultural issues in Iran for many years and even faced imprisonmentin 2021. We inform you with dismay that Toomaj was sentenced to six years and three months of prison after having spent 250 days in solitary confinement, putting his life in danger
On July3,2023, news emerged that Toomaj Salehi hadbeen charged with various fabricated and grave offenses by a Revolutionary Court in Isfahan. Regrettably, his trial was a grossly unfair spectacle tainted using severe torture. Despite the immense pressure, the Islamic Republic in Iran failed to extract any coerced confessions from him.

Following the conclusion of Toomaj Salehi's court proceedings, a verdict has been issued. There are still real concerns that the Islamic Republic in Iran may resort to lethal measures against him. Such an outcome would result in the loss of another valuable life. The so-called 'legal' charges are as follows:
- 'Collaboration with the hostile government' under the pretext of an interview with the Canadian CBC media
- 'Propaganda activity against the regime' and 'inviting riots' under the pretext of inviting people to express their wishes and demands.

We appeal to you to intervene in this matter and exert your influence to overturn all guilty verdicts against him and release him immediately and unconditionally. We implore you to mobilise every resource at your disposal to intervene swiftly and decisively. By securing Toomaj Salehi's release and advocating for the protection of human rights in Iran, you would demonstrate your unwavering commitment to upholding the principles of freedom, justice, and dignity for all.

Yours sincerely,
Please visit for the updated signatories list

11 July 2023

Don’t miss the story of the Righteous and the memory of Good

Once a month you will receive articles and events selected by Gariwo Editorial Board. Please fill out the field below and click on subscribe.

Grazie per aver dato la tua adesione!