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Legendary Iranian singer and regime critic Mohammad Reza Shajarian dies in Tehran

Mohammad Reza Shajarian, popular and celebrated Iranian singer and musician, died on Thursday night at the age of 80 in a Tehran hospital after a long 15-year battle with cancer.
Mohammad Reza Shajarian, popular and celebrated Iranian singer and musician, died on Thursday night at the age of 80 in a Tehran hospital after a long 15-year battle with cancer.

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.”

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

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.