Wednesday, November 25, 2020
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Protests Following the Passing of Renowned Iranian Singer Mohammad Reza Shajarian

Renowned Iranian singer Mohammad-Reza Shajarian passed away on Thursday. His death is a great loss for Iranian art and music. When the news of his passing spread, protests erupted in Tehran.

Regarding Mr. Shajarian death, Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the president-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), said: “My 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. Shajarian’s brilliant work and record are everlasting and among the most precious treasures of our national art. 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. 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.”

Mr. Shajarian repeatedly and openly said in many of his interviews that he faced a dictatorial regime, which sought to force him into repenting and surrendering, and that he was not prepared to accept it.

In April 2015, in a ceremony in honor of the legendary Iranian poet Hafez, Mr. Shajarian responded to the audience who encouraged him to sing by saying, “I live in a country where for the past several years I have been prohibited from singing for my own people.”
The Iranian regime banned Mr. Shajarian from holding any concerts since 2009, when he defended protesters who poured onto the streets following the regime’s sham Presidential elections. The regime’s state TV also stopped playing his popular Ramadan prayer “Rabanna” and other songs.

Angry protesters, while honoring the memory of the Master of Persian traditional music, chanted slogans against the regime. Videos from Iran show people chanting “The state television and radio is a disgrace,” and “death to the dictator.”

Security forces attacked the mourners and tried to disperse the crowd. At the same time Iranian regime limited internet bandwidth as the gatherings took place, but short video clips of the protests were posted in social media.