Two members of Iranian metal band Confess, Nikan “Siyanor” Khosravi and Arash “Chemical” Ilkhani have been sentenced to a combined 14.5 years in prison by the Revolutionary Tribunal of Tehran. Frontman Khosravi was sentenced to 12 ½ years in prison and 74 lashes as Ilkhani’s initial sentence of six years has been reduced to two years. With a sentence as strong as this, one would suspect it involved some sort of heinous act. However, their crime is for playing metal music.
We reported this story back in 2015 when the group were arrested and charged with:
“Blasphemy; Advertising against the system; form and running an illegal and underground band and record label in the satanic “Metal & Rock” music style!; writing anti-religion & atheistic, political & anarchistic lyrics and interview with forbidden foregin radio stations.”
Khosravi and Ilkhani were initially thrown into solitary confinement as they were initially faced with the death penalty for the above charges. Khosravi explained to Loudwire how the two managed to escape an execution sentence, stating:
“If you insult the Prophet you will get executed, because he’s dead and he can’t defend himself. But if you blaspheme God and question his existence, he can forgive you. That was why we didn’t get executed.”
The two were released from prison in Evin back in 2017 after making their $30,000 USD bail and fled to Turkey to file an appeal against their charges. The duo were then granted asylum in Norway where they reside today.
Loudwire has obtained a legal document from the General Judiciary of the Province of Tehran where you can read the full outline of their sentencing below:
“Regarding the appeal of Mr. Arash Ilkhani and Mr. Nikan Khosravi, each of them have been convicted to 5 years in prison on charges of insulting the sanctity of Islam and one year in prison on charges of propaganda against the regime of the Islamic Republic of Iran, according to the set of contents, news, and received documents displaying the continuation of the activities, the court of appeals has found the allegations well-founded and precise. In the received documents, the court has convicted Mr. Nikan Khosravi to two years of imprisonment for three counts of insulting the Supreme Leader and the president. He has been sentenced to 6 months of imprisonment and 74 lashes for allegedly disturbing public opinion through the production of music containing anti-regime lyrics and insulting content and for participating in interviews with the opposition media. The accusation of attempting to leave the country has also been confirmed by the court. In this regard, Mr. Khosravi has been convicted to 4 years of imprisonment. Regarding Mr. Arash Ilkhani, the appeals court, by reviewing the contents of the case and considering his role in the production of content in the music group named “Confess” and his inactivity in the group during the trial, suspended 4 years from his 6 years of imprisonment and confirmed 2 years of his conviction. The court declares this statement to reject the request of an appeal. This is the definitive vote.”
Despite the serious sentence against the two, this hasn’t stopped Confess from making new music. The group have released the new song “Evin,” which is named after the prison. Additionally, the group has announced the title of their new album Revenge at All Costs. You can support Confess by following them on Instagram.
Listen to the song “Evin” below: