Iran arrests musician as anthem for protests goes viral

As demonstrations against the death of Mahsa Amini enter their third week in Iran, a protest song by one of Iran’s most popular musicians has become the soundtrack to the biggest civil uprising for decades, channelling the rage of Iranians at home and abroad. The lyrics to Baraye by Shervin Hajipour are taken entirely from messages that Iranians have posted online about why they are protesting. Each begins with the word Baraye – meaning “For …” or “Because of …” in Farsi.

Hajipour released the song online last week and it quickly went viral, being viewed millions of times across various platforms. Videos show the song being sung by schoolgirls in Iran, blared from car windows in Tehran and played at solidarity protests in WashingtonStrasbourg and London this weekend.

Hajipour, 25, was reportedly arrested on 29 September, days after the song was released. According to messages posted on Twitter by Hajipour’s sister and reverified by Human Rights Watch, the intelligence services in Mazandaran province called Hajipour’s parents and informed them of his arrest on 1 October…