Thursday, 09 February, 2023

Iran’s Cyber Police Blocks Online Accounts Of Street Musicians


Iran’s Cyber Police have blocked several accounts owned by Iranian street musicians on Instagram, the state-run Tabnak website reported on May 24.

According to the Human Rights in Iran, Asou Kahzadi, Naghmeh Morad Abadi, and Mehrdad Mahdi are among the buskers whose Instagram pages were blocked.

Messages appeared on their pages declaring that these Instagram accounts have been blocked on the order of the judiciary due to “criminal content” and the “individuals involved in the crimes” are under investigation.

Iranian cyber police, known by its Persian acronym as “FATA” in Iran, has declared that it is filing a lawsuit against the owners of the banned accounts on Instagram.

It has not elaborated on the nature of the “contents” presumed “criminal.”

However, a look at the three street musicians’ pages, which are still available outside Iran, only show pictures of the banned musicians playing their instruments, here and there.

Recently, Prosecutor of Isfahan reported of filing a case against a female singer “Negar Moazam,” for a solo performance during a sightseeing tour of the village of Abyaneh.

Ali Isfahani, Prosecutor of Isfahan, announced her prosecution on May 21, adding, “The preliminary case regarding this incident has been filed upon the report of the intelligence police for public security, and the Prosecutor of Natanz is following up on it.”

Neghar Moazam had traveled to Abyaneh on Friday, May 17, for a sightseeing tour. A video clip of her solo singing in Abyaneh was posted on social media.

While Instagram is the only Western app in Iran still tolerated by the regime authorities, there had been numerous reports on blocking pages on the popular app for carrying “criminal contents” or arresting people by the cyber police and judiciary.

The regime carried out one of its latest series of arrests targeting online modeling. The state-run Tasnim news agency, affiliated to the terrorist IRGC Quds Force, reported May 18, that the arrests took place in Iran’s central Markazi province. It did not elaborate on the number of detainees, other than to say they had been handed over to the Iranian regime’s judiciary.

General Mohsen Karimi, an IRGC commander in the central city of Arak, said staff at the agencies had been arrested for “promoting vulgarity”, partly through sharing portfolio pictures of models on social media.

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