Iranian police have made a string of arrests in raids targeting the capital’s underground rap scene, the Tehran-Emrouz newspaper reported on Monday.
An unspecified number of "boys and girls were arrested, and Western musical instruments and alcohol seized" in Friday’s raids, the paper quoted Tehran police chief Hossein Sajedi-nia as saying.
"These bands recorded underground clips and released unauthorized songs on satellite and cyber networks," Sajedi-nia said.
"These boys and girls used deserted and crumbling buildings, and camouflaged the place by hanging dirty curtains in order not to arouse suspicion."
The police chief said that officers had kept several venues under surveillance in their crackdown on the "morally deviant" scene.
He accused the rappers of "using obscenities, portraying a bleak picture of society and presenting unhealthy relationships between boys and girls as normal."
Iranian censors vet all art and music before its release and rappers are routinely denied authorization despite their popularity among the Islamic republic’s disproportionately youthful population.
The authorities regard an array of Western musical genres as decadent, including heavy metal as well as rap. Frequent raids on illegal concerts have resulted in scores of arrests.
But underground bands have still managed to get their music heard by using home computers to get it aired over the internet or on Persian-language satellite channels broadcasting from abroad.