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Rapper in Iran Sentenced to Death For Criticizing Regime



Rapper in Iran Sentenced to Death For Criticizing Regime

A rapper in Iran who rose to prominence for his rhymes about Mahsa Amini’s death in 2022 and criticism of the Islamic Republic has been sentenced to death, his lawyer and rights campaigners said Thursday.

The death sentence handed down to 33-year-old metal shop worker Toomaj Salehi remains unclear, as even Iran’s state-run IRNA news agency and judiciary have yet to formally announce it.

However, the announcement attracted immediate worldwide criticism from US and UN experts, who saw it as a symptom of Tehran’s ongoing assault on all dissent following years of large rallies in the country.

“Art must be allowed to criticize, provoke, and push the boundaries in any society,” a panel of United Nations independent experts on Iran said in a statement Thursday.

The news broke on Wednesday, following a report by Iran’s reformist The Shargh newspaper reported that Salehi had been sentenced to death by a Revolutionary Court in Isfahan, a key Iranian city recently attacked by an apparent Israeli attack. Closed-door sessions, secret evidence, and scant rights for people on trial are common in Iran’s revolutionary courts.

Rapper to Appeal Sentence

Amir Raisian, Salehi’s lawyer, told The Associated Press on Thursday that he had received notice of the death sentence against his client. Raisian said he intended to seek an appeal.

Salehi’s case arises from Amini’s death in 2022, following her arrest by police for not wearing a hijab to their liking. According to United Nations investigators, Iran was responsible for Amini’s death and forcefully suppressed mostly peaceful rallies during a months-long security crackdown that killed more than 500 people and jailed over 22,000 others.

Salehi rapped about Amini in one YouTube video, saying, “Someone’s crime was dancing with her hair in the wind.”

In another lyric, he prophesies the end of Iran’s theocracy. “Your entire past is dark, the government that sucked the light out of your eyes. We begin at the base of the pyramid and work our way up. This is the year of failure after forty-four years in power.”

His other songs were obscene, criticizing the all-volunteer Basij component of Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard and mentioning Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Salehi was first sentenced to six years in prison, but he was released after Iran’s Supreme Court returned the case to the lower court due to irregularities in his original sentence.

Released on Bond

Salehi was released on bond, but was arrested again in November after claiming in a video message that he had been tortured following his detention in October 2022. At the time, state media aired a video of him blindfolded and apologizing for his statements, which were most likely uttered under duress.

Iran’s judiciary refused to acknowledge the death sentence, despite IRNA referring to “reports” that he had received it.

A death sentence based on the reversal of a lesser sentence is exceedingly unprecedented in Iran, presumably indicating how seriously Iran’s theocracy took Salehi’s statements. It also comes after other journalists, activists, and singers have been targeted after the “Women, Life, and Freedom” protests against Amini.

An Iranian artist, who received a Grammy presented by US first lady Jill Biden, was condemned to more than three years in prison for his hymn supporting the 2022 protests Activists quickly denounced the rappers sentence.

“This grotesque manipulation of the judicial process aims to silence dissent,” Hadi Ghaemi of the New York-based Center for Human Rights in Iran stated. “Toomaj’s detention arises from his public opposition to state tyranny. It is critical that supporters of free speech and dissent come together to demand his immediate release.”

Washington criticized the sentencing as well.

“This is just another example of the Iranian regime’s horrific and pervasive human rights abuses,” said State Department spokesperson Vedant Patel on Wednesday. “We once again condemn the Iranian regime’s … use of the death sentence as a tool to suppress people’s human rights and fundamental freedoms.”

Geoff Thomas is a seasoned staff writer at VORNews, a reputable online publication. With his sharp writing skills and deep understanding of SEO, he consistently delivers high-quality, engaging content that resonates with readers. Thomas' articles are well-researched, informative, and written in a clear, concise style that keeps audiences hooked. His ability to craft compelling narratives while seamlessly incorporating relevant keywords has made him a valuable asset to the VORNews team.


Pope Francis Says Clergy is Overflowing with “Faggottness”



Pope Francis Says Clergy is Overflowing with "Faggottness"
Pope Francis: Getty Images

According to La Repubblica and Corriere della Sera, Italy’s major circulation dailies, Pope Francis stated that seminaries, or priestly institutions, are already overflowing with “frociaggine,” a vulgar Italian phrase loosely translating as “faggottness.”

The Vatican did not return a request for comment.

La Repubblica cited many nameless sources, while Corriere cited a few unnamed bishops who argued that the pope, as an Argentine, may not have realized the Italian term he used was derogatory.

Political gossip website. Dagospia was the first to report on the alleged incident, which occurred on May 20, when the Italian Bishops Conference began a four-day conference with a private meeting with the Pope.

Francis, who is 87, has been credited with moving the Roman Catholic Church toward a more tolerant stance to the LGBT population.

Pope’s message to gay seminarians

In 2013, at the start of his papacy, he famously declared, “If a person is gay and seeks God and has good will, who am I to judge?” Last year, he permitted priests to bless members of same-sex couples, eliciting strong conservative criticism.

Nonetheless, when he met with Italian bishops in 2018, he issued a similar message to gay seminarians, minus the reported swear word, instructing them to thoroughly scrutinize priesthood hopefuls and reject any suspected homosexuals.

In a 2005 declaration issued by Francis’ late predecessor, Benedict XVI, the Vatican stated that anyone who had decisively overcome homosexual impulses for at least three years might be admitted to the priesthood.

The statement stated that practicing homosexuals, people with “deep-seated” gay tendencies, and those who “support the so-called gay culture” should be excluded.

Gay men in the Catholic priesthood

The acceptance of gay men in the Catholic priesthood has long been controversial. While the Church officially forbids same-sex partnerships, many priests are considered to be gay, sparking issues about celibacy, secrecy, and hypocrisy among the clergy.

Critics claim that gay priests frequently conceal their sexuality, living secretive lifestyles that breach their vows of honesty and integrity. This secrecy can foster toxic cultures and encourage aggressive conduct. Supporters argue that a person’s sexual orientation does not determine their ability to serve God or live a faithful life.

The problem presents difficult considerations about the Church’s position on homosexuality, the function of celibacy in the priesthood, and how societal perceptions affect religious institutions. Finally, whether gay men should be allowed to become priests remains a divisive issue in the Catholic world and elsewhere.


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Trans Activist Jared Ravizza Arrested for Stabbing Four Girls in Movie Theatre



Trans Activist Jared Ravizza Arrested
Jared Ravizza: Shore News Image

Jared Ravizza, a trans activist who identifies as a woman, has been detained in connection with a stabbing at an AMC theater in Massachusetts, which injured four people. Ravizza has also been named as a suspect in a second murder investigation in Connecticut.

Jason Ravizza, 26, of Martha’s Vineyard, is thought to have been involved in another violent crime in Deep River, Connecticut. According to WCVB, police discovered a body at the address associated with this investigation approximately 3:30 p.m. Saturday.

Police said he also drove thirty miles and stabbed two McDonald’s employees.

On Saturday at 3:36 p.m., Connecticut State Police responded to a report of a suspicious occurrence in Westbrook. The name of the victim is unknown, but Ravizza is a suspect in the murder.

Ravizza, whose father, Jared, is an acclaimed sports psychiatrist, identifies as a woman and has been reported to be a trans activist.

Jared Ravizza: Image Shore News

Jared Ravizza Laughed Entire Time

According to Fox News, a Massachusetts mother claims her girls were among the victims of a stabbing spree that left six people injured in two towns over the weekend, and that the suspect was “laughing the whole time” during the assault.

“I received a call from my sister informing me that my oldest daughter had contacted her and that I needed to hurry to the AMC movie theater right immediately because they had been stabbed.

Honestly, I just hopped in my car and drove right there,” Lisa Dembowski told reporters about the first incident, in which Braintree Police said four young females aged 9 to 17 had “non-life-threatening injuries.”

“They were the only four individuals in the movie theater. They’d just sat down. They had just received their concessions. And I believe he walked up behind them in the row – they were in the second row – and he approached them,” Dembowski explained.

“My oldest was leaning forward to grab something. He hit her in the back, then my other daughter in the top of the chest. Then, my last daughter crossed her arm, giggling the entire while, grabbed their friend, and went off.”

Jared Ravizza: Image Shore News

Jared Ravizza: Image Shore News

Second attack on McDonald’s employees

Dembowski stated that her girls are now “physically fine” but “shaken up” and “terrified that they could just go to a movie on a Saturday night and this could happen, someone could just walk into a movie theater and do this.”

Officials said the movie theater stabbing occurred at 6 p.m., before Ravizza reportedly carried out a second attack on McDonald’s employees at a rest stop on Route 3 in Plymouth about an hour later.

The current investigations in Massachusetts and Connecticut are closely linked as police strive to determine the links between these terrible crimes. Further information is expected as the investigations progress.

According to a statement published by the Braintree Police Department, a man snuck into the movie without paying, and then suddenly attacked and stabbed the four young females. “The attack appeared unprovoked.”

Paramedics responded quickly to the site, while police initiated a manhunt for the perpetrator and shared a description of his car with other law enforcement agencies.

All of the girls were sent to the hospital, but none had life-threatening injuries. Dembowski described the two older girls as heroes who cared for her two smaller children before the authorities arrived.

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North Korea Appears To Have Fired A Missile Into The Sea, Japan And South Korea Say




TOKYO — North Korea launched a missile into the sea on Monday, according to Japan and South Korea, just hours after announcing preparations to launch a rocket into space, reportedly carrying its second military reconnaissance satellite.

North Korea had previously informed Japan’s coast guard of its plans to launch “a satellite rocket” during a launch window from Monday to June 3.


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North Korea Appears To Have Fired A Missile Into The Sea, Japan And South Korea Say

Following North Korea’s launch, the Japanese Prime Minister’s Office canceled a missile alert for the island of Okinawa, stating that the missile was not considered to be headed for the region.

North Korea launched its first military reconnaissance satellite into orbit in November of last year as part of attempts to establish a space-based monitoring network to counter what it considers growing US-led military threats. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un later said at a governing party conference that the country would launch three more military spy satellites in 2024.


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North Korea Appears To Have Fired A Missile Into The Sea, Japan And South Korea Say

The United Nations prohibits North Korea from carrying out any satellite launches, perceiving them as cover for testing long-range missile technologies. North Korea has consistently claimed that it has the right to launch satellites and test missiles. Kim has stated that spy satellites will help his military to better observe US and South Korean military activity while also increasing the threat posed by its nuclear-capable missiles.


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North Korea Appears To Have Fired A Missile Into The Sea, Japan And South Korea Say

North Korea provides Japan with launch information because the Japanese Coast Guard coordinates and disseminates maritime safety information throughout East Asia.


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