Iran arrests Shervin Hajipour, whose song became protest anthem

Singer, 25, combined Twitter messages on Mahsa Amini protests into emotional performance that went viral

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Iranian singer Shervin Hajipour, arrested after his song in support of protests over the death of Mahsa Amini went viral, has been released on bail, an official said on Tuesday.

A wave of unrest has rocked Iran since the Iranian Kurdish woman, 22, died on September 16 after her arrest by the morality police in Tehran for allegedly failing to observe the Islamic republic's strict dress code for women.

The street violence has led to the deaths of dozens of people ― mostly protesters but also members of the security forces ― and hundreds of arrests.

“Shervin Haji Aghapour has been released on bail so that his case can go through the legal process,” Mohammad Karimi, prosecutor of the northern province of Mazandaran, told Iran's state news agency IRNA, using the singer's full name.

Rights groups outside of Iran reported his arrest last week.

Singer-songwriter Mr Hajipour, 25, rose to fame for the song Baraye, in which he put together messages posted on Twitter about the reasons for protests.

The emotional performance became a viral hit on different social media platforms, with millions of views within days.

It is no longer available on his Instagram account, which has more than 1.7 million followers.

Students protest on campuses across Iran

Students protest on campuses across Iran

The song featured in many videos of protests on social media, and also made its way to local media.

The ultra-conservative Tasnim news agency published its own version of the video clip, keeping Mr Hajipour's voice, while changing the accompanying images to ones showing the Islamic republic's achievements.

The agency said that its video, posted on Telegram on Sunday, is meant to show “more realistic concepts of what is happening in the media battlefield”, by using “more meaningful pictures”.

Tasnim said Mr Hajipour was arrested on Tuesday “for showing support for the rioters and solidarity with the enemies by posting the song in social media without getting permission for it”.

Updated: June 13, 2023, 8:20 AM