US lawmakers pressure Iran for sanctions over Salehi decision

The death sentence in Iran for rapper Toomaj Salehi for writing a song about the death of a woman in 2022 has mobilised US lawmakers. A bill introduced on Friday proposed sanctions targeting Iranian officials who played a role in the death sentence.

The proposal calls for sanctions against judges, prosecutors and investigators of Iran’s Revolutionary Courts in response to their ongoing crackdown on dissidents, including rapper Toomaj Salehi.

The bill would also codify what the United States considers to be human rights violations by Iranian courts in rulings against political prisoners.

Representative Young Kim, one of the bill’s architects, said the bill would allow the US to “stand side by side with Toomaj and other peaceful protesters demanding basic human rights and take targeted action against the Iranian regime”.

Salehi’s lawyer, Amir Raisian, said he planned to appeal his client’s case. The sentence came months after the artist was released from prison in mid-November after more than a year in custody.

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