The defense lawyer representing Iranian singer Mehdi Yarrahi says he has been able to meet his client in Tehran’s Evin prison on September 5, eight days after his arrest for his latest song encouraging women to remove their mandatory headscarves.
Yarrahi appeared to be in good spirits, but he is receiving medical attention at the prison’s hospital for inflamed skin and pain in his right ear, lawyer Mustafa Nili said in a series of tweets.
"I haven't been able to read his case yet, and that's why I can't say what the exact charges are. I hope to be able to read the case on Saturday," Nili added.
During the meeting, the singer conveyed his determination to take legal action against officers who failed to uphold the law and respect his civil rights during his arrest.
Yarrahi was arrested on August 28 following the release of the song Roosarito, or Your Headscarf in English, which was accompanied by a video showing women in various social settings without their mandatory headscarves, some dancing to the music.
Yarrahi dedicated the song to the "brave women of Iran who shine courageously at the forefront of the ‘Women Life Freedom’ movement,’" a reference to the monthslong nationwide protests sparked by the September 2022 death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini while she was in police custody for an alleged hijab violation.
As a protest against Yarrahi's arrest, Iranian social media users posted and shared videos of their own dance performances and renditions of his songs.
Artists, political activists and journalists have also rallied behind the singer since his jailing.
The Iranian authorities, fearing a flare up in protests ahead of the first anniversary of Amini's death on September 16, have ramped up their crackdown against dissent in recent weeks.
A growing number of women refusing to wear a head covering have been arrested and prosecuted, while dozens of businesses have been closed for failing to enforce compulsory hijab rules for women visitors.
On September 4, local media reported that the Mojhaye Khorushan water park in Mashhad has been shut down for allowing women entry without a headscarf.
Mohammad Babaei, the complex manager, was quoted as saying that the authorities had declared the park's closure due to people's "ignoring chastity and hjiab" rules.