Reporting by PMOI/MEK
Iran, October 9, 2020—Shajarian was among artists who revolutionized Iran’s music and singing with new methods in the 1970s. Shajarian was outraged by the Iranian regime’s atrocities against protesters in the 2009 nationwide uprisings, and while he had previously said that he did not want to participate in politics, he protested the regime’s suppression of peaceful demonstrators.
A video from the 2009 shows Shajarian chanting, “down with the dictator.”
In response, the regime, which does not tolerate any expression of dissent, banned Shajarian from holding concerts and other performances, including Ramadan prayers aired by national television.
In a 2015 ceremony in commemoration of historic Persian poet Hafez, when the attendants asked Shajarian to sing in honor of the poet, he said, “I live in a country where I’m banned from singing for my people.”
He had also clearly stated in several interviews that the regime is pressurizing him to repent his past protests and he will not give in.
In a statement, Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the president-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), offered condolences to the Iranian people, to Iran’s arts community, and to Mr. Shajarian’s family and friends on the passing of one of Iran’s greatest artists.
“The ruling mullahs’ restrictions and pressures have not and will never undermine his status and his enormous contributions to Iran’s art and music scene, particularly the art of singing,” Madam Rajavi said. “Without a doubt, Iran’s arts community and those who care about Iran’s music will build upon his contributions, teachings, and unique innovations as never before and will add to Iran’s unrivaled treasures of arts and culture. Mr. Shajarian’s vocals have been warmly received in the hearts of millions of Iranians for several generations and cannot be extinguished.”
My condolences to the people of #Iran, the community of artists, and #Shajarian’s friends and family on the passing of one of Iran’s greatest musicians. No doubt, his works and brilliant artistic record will last forever in the precious treasure of Iran’s national art and music. pic.twitter.com/efEVVWG9Wp— Maryam Rajavi (@Maryam_Rajavi) October 8, 2020
Following Shajarian’s passing, a large crowd gathered in front of the Jam hospital, where he was hospitalized before his death. The mourning ceremonies turned into anti-regime protests. The crowd changed slogans against the state-run broadcasting organization, which had censored Shajarian’s art.
“The broadcasting organization is a disgrace,” the crowd was chanting.
October 8 - Tehran, #Iran— People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) (@Mojahedineng) October 8, 2020
People gathering in memory of legendary Iranian artist Mohammad Reza Shajarian launch anti-regime protests.
"State media is a disgrace!"
"Down with the dictator!"#IranProtestspic.twitter.com/GB7QfCCYpI
The rally also had anti-regime slogans, including “down with [regime supreme leader Ali] Khamenei,” “down with the dictator,” and “dictators will die, but Shajarian will live forever.”
Security forces attacked the mourners and tried to disperse the crowd. The protesters resisted and chanted “shame on you.”
According to Netblocks.org, and organization that tracks internet accessibility across the world, the Iranian regime limited internet bandwidth as the gatherings took place.
“Real-time network data show regional restrictions in Iran as thousands take to the streets to commemorate outspoken singer Shajarian,” Netblocks.org wrote tweeted.
Confirmed: Internet disrupted in #Tehran from 7:00 p.m. local time (15:30 UTC); real-time network data show regional restrictions in #Iran as thousands take to the streets to commemorate outspoken singer #Shajarian; incident ongoing#IranProtests— NetBlocks.org (@netblocks) October 8, 2020