On April 7, 2023, Mr. Eghbal Eghbali was interviewed on Iran International TV regarding the condition of the beloved rebel rapper, Toomaj Salehi, indicted for “Corruption on earth”, a capital offense.
The following is an English translation of the interview by IEC volunteers.
Moderator: Uncle of Toomaj Salehi, Mr. Eghbali from Germany joined us. Can you tell us more about Toomaj’s situation?
Mr. Eghbali: Greetings to you and greetings to your viewers, if you allow me to present my talk in 5 sections; I will start with dear Toomaj.
Toomaj was healthy when he was arrested and we want Toomaj back healthy. As it was mentioned in your program, Toomaj has suffered serious physical injuries, he has been in solitary confinement for almost 160 days and they did not allow him to get (any medical) treatments. Mentally, Toomaj is doing very well.
In terms of his case, which his father Chengiz Salehi and honorable lawyers Mr. Raisian and Ms. Etemadi are pursuing, within the framework of these oppressive and anti-human laws, these dear ones are defending the life of an Iranian citizen.
Outside of Iran, we have taken some actions. My niece Shabnam, she has secured a lawyer to defend Toomaj and to file a complaint against the Islamic government to the Human Rights Commission in Geneva. We will use all means necessary for the immediate release of Toomaj.
There are other measures that are in process inside the country. You can see some of them in all demonstrations through slogans as well as writings on walls.
Yesterday, some of Iran’s greatest in cinema had a meeting with Mr. Chengiz Salehi, the father of Toomaj, including Ms. Fateme Motamed Arya, dear Jafar Panahi and dear Mohammad Rasoulof, all of whom are the pride of Iranian cinema and the conscience of the art world, and they inquired about the status of Toomaj.
Ms. Gohar Eshghi, mother of Sattar Beheshti, tried to contact me several times and inquired about Toomaj's condition. And I hope that she will be allowed to visit her children in Iran [Ms. Gohar Eshghi calls all victims of IRI her children].
As you know that slogan writing (on walls) continues in Iran, and in all demonstrations outside the country, the freedom of Toomaj and the freedom of all political prisoners are often raised.
Toomaj, Sepideh Gholian and Hossein Ronaghi and other political prisoners, are the symbol of freedom of expression in Iran. The imprisonment of Toomaj, the imprisonment of Sepideh Gholian means the imprisonment of freedom, confining the freedom of all Iranian citizens. And we will do all that is necessary to free Iranian citizens.
The woman, life, freedom, revolution has had three achievements and we should not only lose these achievements, but rather elevate them.
- First, this revolution has gained global support.
- Second, it has put a brake on the execution of those sentenced todeath, to prevent the execution and the repetition of tragedies like the1980's.
- Third, the choice to wear or not wear the hijab [as opposed to compulsory hijab] that we see everyday in the streets shows how our brave women and girls live the way they want and have been able to impose this on theIslamic government.
I want to raise another point: you need to pay attention to execution sentences issued for Jamshid Sharmahd and dear Abbas [Mojahed] Kourkour [unjustly convicted of the shooting death of 10-year-old Kian Pirfalak in his dad's car] without any reason. Iranian society and the international community must defend their release and unconditional freedom and really put an end to these crimes that the government of the Islamic Republic has committed in these last 44 years. Particularly now that the regime is weakened, we must use this situation to force them to back off.
Mentally, Toomaj is fine, but physically, he is severely injured and he needs care outside of prison, in a well-equipped hospital under the supervision of a medical team including the best doctors in Iran. This is our demand. When Toomaj was arrested he was healthy and we want our Toomaj back healthy.
Moderator: Mr. Eghbali, what is their answer? What does the government say? Why don't they let him out of prison for medical treatment?
Mr. Eghbali: Can you tell me in which case the government has acted in a responsible manner. Why would Toomaj’s case be any different? This government is not even accountable to God. They don’t answer to anyone; they don’t have any logic.
This regime belongs to the mullah God and until this government is dismantled, this situation will continue. They will not be accountable to anyone.