Iranian metal band Arsames have fled the country after being sentenced to 15 years in prison for playing their music, which is illegal.
The band were arrested in 2017, posted bail, and awaited trial for three years.
Arsames said the court recently imposed the 15-year sentence, which prompted their escape.
Grater has confirmed the news with the band.
“This is true. After being arrested, the band paid bail and escaped from Iran to not being held in prison (sic), as they are await the start of their trial,” they said.
Music, TV, film, newspapers and the internet are heavily regulated by Iran’s Islamic government, with severe penalties handed down to dissenters.
Arsames formed in 2002 by vocalist and first drummer Ali Madarshahi and were based in Mashhad.
Arsames has had many line-up changes, with Madarshahi the only original member remaining.
The band’s name is derived from the name of one of the kings of the Persian empire during the Achaemenid dynasty.
They released LP Immortal Identity in 2010 and covers EP Persian Death Metal Tribute To Warriors Of Metal in 2011.