Iran singer who faces prison wins Grammy for protest anthem


DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – An Iranian singer who could face jail time because his song has become the anthem for the ongoing protests rocking the Communist Harmony cried early Monday after learning he had won a Grammy.

Shervin Hajipour appeared stunned after hearing Jill Biden, the wife of President Joe Biden, announce that he had won the Grammy New Song for a special merit award for social change for “Baraye”. An online video shows Hajipour in a dark room, wiping away tears after the announcement.

The song “Baraye,” or “For” in English by Hajipour, begins: “For street dancing,” “because of the fear we feel when we kiss.” The lyrics list the reasons young Iranians have posted on Twitter about why they oppose Iran’s ruling theocracy.

It ended with the widely chanted slogan that has become synonymous with protests since the September death of Iranian-Kurdish woman Masha Amini: “For women, life, freedom.”

Released on his Instagram page, the song quickly went viral. Hajipour was then arrested and detained for several days before being released on bail in October. The 25-year-old singer faces charges of “propaganda against the regime” and “inciting violence”, according to Activists. Human Rights in Iran, a group that monitors the months-long protests.

The charges Hajipour faces could lead to a total of six years in prison. The singer is also banned from leaving Iran.

Wearing a sparkly Oscar de la Renta off-the-shoulder gown at the Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, Biden said a song “can unite, inspire, and ultimately change the world.”

“This song became the anthem of the Mahsa Amini protests, a powerful and poetic call for women’s freedom and rights,” Biden said. “Shervin was arrested, but the song continues to resonate around the world with its powerful theme: Women, life, freedom.”

Those gathered cheered Biden’s remarks. On Instagram, Hajipour just wrote: “We won.”

There was no immediate reaction in Iranian state media or from government officials to Hajipour’s victory. The singer was among more than 19,600 people arrested amid the protests, according to human rights activists in Iran. At least 527 people were killed amid the government’s violent crackdown on protests.

On Sunday, Iran’s supreme leader on Sunday is said to have ordered amnesty or reduced prison sentences for “tens of thousands” of people detained during the protests.acknowledged for the first time the scale of the persecution.


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