Members of a metal band in Iran have reportedly been jailed and face execution for blasphemy, it has been reported.
Trev McKendry, CEO of Metal Nation, claimed in a post on Metal Nation News that the Iranian band Confess have been in prison since November last year on the grounds of blasphemy and running an illegal band and record label.
Two of the members of Confess, Nikan Siyanor Khosravi and Khosravi Arash Chemical Ilkhani, were reportedly held in solitary confinement until 5 February when they were released on bail. According to the Metal Nation News source, the men face between six months and six years in prison, but if they are found guilty of blasphemy they could be executed.
Metal, rock, rap and some pop music is reportedly banned in Iran, and people have been labelled Satanists as a result of their musical preferences, according to the BBC.
The full charges levied against the band reportedly include blasphemy; advertising against the system; forming and running an illegal band and record label “in the satanic metal & rock music style”; writing anti-religious, atheist, political and anarchistic lyrics; and conducting interviews with “forbidden” foreign radio stations.
The source claimed to have written to Mr McKendry because the CEO had previously been in contact with the band, in the hopes that “you guys help us to telling the world that the life conditions of us is very terrible and spread the news”.
It was also claimed the band’s Facebook page is now being controlled by the state.
The Independent attempted to contact the Iranian Embassy several times for comment.