Members of Confess, an Iranian heavy metal band, are reportedly facing possible execution for playing music the government says is blasphemous.
According to Metal Nation News, Siyanor Khosravi and Khosravi Arash Ilkhani were arrested in November 2015 by the Army of Guardians of the Islamic Revolution.
The charges against the duo include blasphemy, “playing heavy metal, owning an independent record label and for communicating with foreign radio stations”.
If found guilty of certain charges, the report claims, they face between six months and six years’ jail. If they are found guilty of blasphemy, they face the possibility of execution.
Tara Sepehri Far, a researcher for Human Rights Watch, told MailOnline the pair likely faced up to five years in prison.
She said it was likely they would be facing “insulting sacred beliefs” charges, as other musicians had been in the past, rather than “insulting the prophet”, which is punishable by death.
She added: “Iranian musicians, especially the ones who play non-classical western music, are navigating a minefield.
“Due to severe censorship, most of these groups are performing underground.
“Anything from the content of their lyrics to the style of the music they play might violate unwritten regulations that musicians are expected to adhere to by various authorities.”
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