News   /   Politics   /   Editor's Choice   /   Feature

Factbox: Artistic works of Bashir Biazar, Iranian ace musician jailed in France

By Ivan Kesic

Bashir Biazar, an Iranian music maestro and filmmaker, has been languishing in a French prison for almost two weeks following his arbitrary arrest for pro-Palestinian activism.

Biazar was summoned by French police without explanation or warrant on June 4 and was arrested upon his arrival at the police station, after which he was sent to a jail meant for illegal migrants.

His unexpected arrest came as a shock to his family, relatives, friends, and Iranian officials, who have been following up with concerned authorities to secure his immediate release.

Biazar moved to France three years ago with his wife, Zahra Kazemi Saleh, and their two children after she enrolled in doctoral studies at the University of Burgundy and began working as a lecturer.

The couple previously lived briefly in London, where Biazar earned a doctorate in filmmaking at Kingston University in 2011.

During their stay in the UK, his wife was the victim of a brutal racist and Islamophobic attack due to her hijab (Islamic headscarf), according to their own admission.

Biazar, a music composer and filmmaker, engaged in musical and other artistic productions while in France. He was also active on social media networks, posting in Persian about important political events in Iran as well as the Israeli genocidal war against Palestinians in Gaza.

After October 7, following the Israeli regime's brutal onslaught on Palestinians in Gaza, Biazar gained a significant following on social media platforms such as X and Instagram.

He has been particularly praised for his fair and passionate commentary on Palestinian suffering, Israeli genocidal actions, and the inaction of Western governments.

Many experts view Biazar's arrest as politically motivated, aimed at silencing and intimidating pro-Palestinian or anti-Zionist voices in France and other Western countries.

The French interior ministry’s indictment against him includes charges such as "promoting or inciting terrorism" and spreading "state propaganda" for Iran.

A recent investigation by the Press TV website revealed that his comments in Persian had no connection to incitement to terrorism, violence, or endangering national peace and order in France.

Examining his artistic background and activities shows Biazar to be a non-partisan individual who is only focused on social, cultural, and artistic programs.

Artistic works

Bashir inherited his interest in cultural work from his late father, Habibollah Biazar, former Iranian ambassador to Greece, Albania, and Bulgaria, and a key proponent of the revival of Qur'anic culture in Western societies.

Upon his father's death in 2008, Bashir said his father did not see himself as a diplomat, despite serving as an advisor to the foreign ministry for eight years and an ambassador for nearly eight years.

Instead, he preferred to be seen and known as an educationist deeply interested in cultural affairs.

Over his 20-year career in the cultural field, primarily music, Bashir Biazar has been involved mainly in non-governmental institutions and organizations (NGOs) in various roles.

He served as managing director of the New Horizon Institute of Arts and Culture and was the secretary of the London-based Islamic Student Association.

For several years, he also worked as a production manager at the Music and Song Department of the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB), the country’s state broadcaster.

At IRIB, Biazar was involved in music, documentaries, and television programs, focusing on cultural topics of the world in general and the Islamic world in particular.

In his career, Biazar has produced a number of critically acclaimed artistic works.

In May 2013, he produced ten concerts by Hamed Zamani, then a budding 25-year-old Iranian singer who performs in Persian, Arabic, and English.

He commended Zamani as a promising music star who attracts music aficionados to concert halls. At that time, Zamani had not yet released any albums or had funds for promoting his work.

In September 2015, just two days after the Mina stampede tragedy in Saudi Arabia, Biazar participated in the production management of the iconic song "Wound on Wound."

The song, written by Mrs. Ezra Rashidnejad, composed and arranged by Omid Rahbaran, and produced by Basij Music House, addressed the suffering of people in Mina and Yemen.

Biazar also wrote the script of "33 Years of Silence," a 2015 short documentary directed by Hossein Shamaqdari and produced by the Tehran-based Arman Media Cultural Institute.

The biographical documentary tells the story of a veteran of the 1980s Iran-Iraq War who narrates his personal experience of being sent to Germany for treatment by the Iranian government in 1982.

In 2016, Biazar's documentary was screened at the Noor Iranian Film Festival (NIFF), an annual film festival in Los Angeles aimed at bridging the gap between Iranian and non-Iranian communities.

In 2019, he composed the music for the documentary film "Alzheimer," which provides a comparative study of war memorials worldwide and depicts efforts to preserve national and epic values in collective memory through architecture.

In February 2021, as production manager of the Music and Song Department of IRIB, Biazar spearheaded the release of the album "To the Peak" (Ta Qole), the first album in the hymn genre produced by the organization.

The album, created by a group of talented artists, aimed to instill a sense of hope and belonging among teenagers in the country, promote hymn culture and support the progress of national hymn groups, especially young ones.

This production, according to Biazar, was a response to the poor treatment of the hymn genre in the past and to the cultural influence of foreign music on young people in the country.

Mohammad Hussein Poyanfar, a prominent Iranian elegy reciter, in a post on X, described the incarcerated Iranian musician as a “revolutionary who spoke the truth in the heart of Europe.”

“It is necessary to take legal and diplomatic measures so that his fate is not like other innocent Iranians who have not been arrested in Europe,” he said, addressing authorities.

“In the first step, I ask all the activists of cyberspace and media to raise awareness about his inhumane detention.”

Press TV’s website can also be accessed at the following alternate addresses:

Press TV News Roku