Loudwire reports that Iranian metal band Confess, made up of Nikan Khosravi and Arash Ilkhani, have been sentenced to 14 and a half years in prison by the Revolutionary Tribunal of Tehran. In addition, Khosravi was sentenced to 74 lashes for creating music that disturbed public opinion through “anti-regime lyrics,” “insulting content,” and interviews with “opposition media.”
Confess made headlines back in 2015 when musicians Khosravi and Ilkhani were originally facing the death penalty for blasphemy and advertising against the system. But Khosravi claims the band was able to escape punishment due to a loophole in Iran’s practice of Sharia Law – which is practiced alongside its civil law. Although Sharia law deems insulting the Prophet worthy of execution because he can’t defend himself, Khosravi says “if you blaspheme God and question his existence, he can forgive you.”
“That was why we didn’t get executed.”
Khosravi and Ilkhani fled Iran to Turkey while awaiting their sentencing and were granted asylum in Norway, where they now reside.
“Regarding the appeal of Mr. Arash Ilkhani and Mr. Nikan Khosravi, each of them have been convicted to 5 years in prison on charges of insulting the sanctity of Islam and one year in prison on charges of propaganda against the regime of the Islamic Republic of Iran, according to the set of contents, news, and received documents displaying the continuation of the activities, the court of appeals has found the allegations well-founded and precise,” reads a legal document from the General Judiciary of the Province of Tehran
— Consequence of Sound (@consequence) July 9, 2019
According to the International Policy Digest, music is just one part of the media subject to Iran’s harsh censors. Filmmakers must also operate within Sharia law and ensure that women observe Purdah, restrict discussion of controversial topics, prohibit physical interactions, and follow the rules about the subject matter, poetry, and music contained in the movies.
Despite these rigid rules and censors, Iranian cinema has gained some acceptance worldwide, with movies such as Abbas Kiarostami’s Close-Up, Taste of Cherry, and Where is the Friend’s Home? making BBC Culture’s list of 100 best foreign-language films.
As The Inquisitr previously reported, Iran has been making news frequently due to tensions with U.S. President Donald Trump, who imposed sanctions that targeted Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, as well as military commanders Amir Ali Hajizadeh, Alireza Tangsiri, and Mohammad Pakpour.
Trump signed the executive order imposing the sanctions as a response to Iran shooting down a U.S. drone that it claims was invading their airspace – although the U.S. denies this claim.