In 2015, two members of Confess, an Iranian metal band were arrested for performing metal music in their country and were sentenced to a combined 14 years in prison, as well as 74 lashes . The band’s frontman, Nikan “Siyanor” Khosravi, was sentenced to 12.5 years of imprisonment along with 74 lashes, while bandmate Arash “Chemical” Ilkhani was sentenced to six years of imprisonment, which was then reduced to two years.
American online music magazine, Loudwire, recently published an article regarding the arrest of these two band members after the magazine managed to obtain a legal document outlining the sentence from the General Judiciary of the Province of Tehran.
Khosravi said that in 2015, during a time when they had just released their second album, about seven to eight agents of the Army of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution in Iran raided their home. The agents confiscated a large part of his belongings, handcuffed him, and took him away with them.
He added, “They told me I was accused of insulting the prophet. They also arrested Arash on the street on his way home from university. We were interrogated separately for 10 days in Ward 2-A in Evin Prison. I was interrogated by four or five agents.”
The charges against the two men include “insulting the sanctity of Islam,” “insulting the Supreme Leader and the President,” as well as “disturbing public opinion through the production of music containing anti-regime lyrics and insulting content and for participating in interviews with the opposition media.”
On the other hand, the agents happened to tell Arash that an execution was inevitable for him if his lawyer failed to convince that the authorities that their band’s music was not satanic. Fortunately, the men managed to escape through what they call a loophole in Sharia Law in Iran. If you insult Prophet Muhammad, execution is the punishment as he is dead and unable to defend himself. However, if you question God’s existence and curse him, he is capable of forgiving you. Arash explained that this was the reason he and his bandmate did not get executed.
Fortunately, the two men were granted asylum in Norway, where they currently reside. They have just released a new single called Evin which chronicles their time in prison.