Who is Saman Seydi Yasin? Iran Top Court Accepts Kurdish Rapper's Appeal Against Death Sentence

Saman Seydi Yasin, a vocal critic of the Iranian regime, has had the appeal against his death sentence accepted by the Iran Supreme Court.

He was accused of attempting to kill security forces, setting a rubbish bin on fire and shooting three times into the air during anti-government protests. The Kurdish rapper had denied the charges. Yasin is now to face a retrial.

Last week, his mother pleaded in a video for help to save her son. "Where in the world have you seen a loved one's life is taken for a trash bin?" she questioned.

Saman Seydi Yasin

It Was a Sham

There were fears that Iranian authorities had moved Yasin from Tehran's Evin Prison to Raja'i Shahr prison in Karaj and that his execution was imminent. Amnesty International said he had been sentenced to death for "enmity against God" in a sham trial based on torture-tainted confessions. The human rights watchdog tweeted on December 12 that the Iran authorities subjected Yasin to torture and other ill-treatment to extract forced confessions, including severe beatings and forced exposure to extreme cold.

Iran Protests 2022

Yasin had supported the anti-government protests in his Instagram stories. He criticized the Iranian authorities through his political rap songs. Amnesty International said Yasin's death sentence violated the right to life under international law which bans the death penalty for crimes not involving intentional killing. The organization called for the rapper's torture allegations to be criminally investigated and those responsible to be held accountable.

Flaws in the Case

The Supreme Court of Iran said it accepted Saman Seydi's appeal but cited flaws in investigating the case. The rapper's case has been referred back to the court for re-examination. But the appeal of Yasin's fellow Iranian Mohammad Qobadloo has not been accepted. He has been charged with killing a police agent and injuring five others with his car during the protests.

Iran 2022 protests

The Iranian government has executed two men, so far, in connection with the ongoing protests following the death of a Kurdish Iranian woman Mahsa Amini in mid-September for "improperly wearing the hijab". More than 18,000 people have been arrested during the protests and the government is seeking to execute at least 26 protesters, as per Amnesty International.