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Iranian Family Launch Protest Over Concerts Cancelled By Hard-Liners

Ahmad Mehrchian and his wife Zohreh Barati decided to launch their protest after a concert by the veteran traditional musician Shahrem Nazeri (pictured, far left) and his son was cancelled by authorities at short notice.

A family of four in Iran has launched a symbolic protest against the cancellation of concerts around the country on religious grounds.

In recent years, dozens of concerts and cultural performances have been abruptly called off in Iran following pressure and intimidation by hard-liners who claim such events undermine Islamic values.

The closures of the officially sanctioned concerts have been a direct challenge to Iranian President Hassan Rohani, a relative moderate, who has promised to ease state restrictions and give Iranians more rights and freedom.

The family -- Ahmad Mehrchian, his wife Zohreh Barati, and their 6-year-old daughter Baran and 4-year-old son Kourosh – have been walking around the country since July 30 to protest the trend of concerts being cancelled.

They plan to continue their protest until the start of the school year in Iran on September 23.

The family, which during its protest meets with local musicians affected by the cancellations, holds signs that say: "We have the right to listen to the songs of our country in our city."

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