Human Rights Voices

While the UN devotes its human rights operations to the demonization of the democratic state of Israel above all others and condemns the United States more often than the vast majority of non-democracies around the world, the voices of real victims around the world must be heard.

Iran, May 18, 2012

Iranian rapper facing threats remains defiant

Original source


An Iranian rapper who went into hiding after a $100,000 bounty was placed on his head says he fears for his life, but remains unapologetic, The London Times reported Thursday.

Shahin Najafi, 31, is facing death threats after a fatwa was issued against him for supposedly insulting Islam. He has vowed to continue attacking the hypocrisy of the regime in Tehran.

"When I heard about the first fatwa, that didn't mention me by name, I laughed," he told The Times. "But then my name was attached and I realized the regime was going to exploit this. When the bounty was announced and I was named as an apostate I got much more worried," he said.

Najafi's latest single "Naqi," has drawn sharp anger from protesters who believe it is offensive towards Imam Naqi, the revered tenth Imam for Shiites.

Najafi posted the song last week on YouTube, where it has been viewed hundreds of thousands of times. A religious Iranian website on Tuesday offered a $100,000 reward for the execution of the Fatwa placed on him.

Despite his fears, Najafi remains defiant. "These clerics are senile and past their sell-by date. There is nothing to justify this reaction. I will not censor myself," he said. "The regime knows I have no fight with Islam itself. What I oppose is the political Islam that they have imposed on the people. I wanted to point out their hypocrisy, the way they wear their piety on their sleeves, the lies they tell."

He told The Times that the regime was whipping up religious hysteria to conceal its own failings. "Naqi has been dead for centuries. I was not picking a fight with him. He was reputed to have a good sense of humor, anyway," he said.

Najafi, 31, was forced to move to Germany when his politically-motivated lyrics for an underground band he was associated in Iran, earned him a ban.