Iran’s judiciary has sentenced controversial rapper Amir Tataloo to several years in prison. A revolutionary court in the capital Tehran found the 36-year-old musician guilty of blasphemy and imposed a three-year prison sentence, the state news agency Irna reported. The verdict can be appealed.

The web portal Misan, which is linked to the Iranian judiciary, confirmed a prison sentence, but did not announce the exact sentence. The rapper, who has a large following and whose music and appearance repeatedly polarizes, was accused of several counts of propaganda against the state, for which in some cases the death penalty is imposed. However, the controversial musician escaped the maximum sentence.

The trial was heard before a notorious revolutionary court under the ultra-conservative judge Iman Afschari, who is known for particularly harsh sentences and has already been hit with international sanctions for them.

Tataloo, whose real name is Amirhussein Maghsudlu, is one of the most colorful personalities in the Iranian hip-hop scene. He lived in exile in Turkey for several years. At the beginning of December 2023 he was transferred to Iran by Turkish authorities.

In the Islamic Republic of Iran, Tataloo’s works are not officially permitted because he lacks the necessary approval from the Ministry of Culture – the authorities consider his music to be too western and immoral. Nevertheless, critics have repeatedly accused him of being close to the Islamic Republic’s system. The biggest controversy surrounding Tataloo was triggered in 2020 when he publicly called on underage fans on the Internet to join his “harem”. According to the UK-based portal “Iranwire”, his Instagram account was subsequently blocked.