Thursday, 04 July 2019 16:16

British singer Joss Stone says she was deported from Iran

British soul singer Joss Stone says she was deported from Iran after arriving in the Islamic Republic while on a worldwide concert tour, even though she says she didn't plan to perform there.

Posting on Instagram, Stone appears in a video wearing a white headscarf saying: "Well, we got to Iran, we got detained and then we got deported." She said she knew solo performances by women were illegal, but she still wanted to see Iran.

She wrote that Iranian authorities placed her on a "black list" because they believed she might try to perform a public show. She described the authorities that met her on arrival at Iran's Kish Island as professional throughout their interaction.

"These people are genuinely nice, kind people that felt bad that they couldn't override the system," the 33-year-old wrote in a caption.

Under Iranian law, women cannot perform solo concerts, though women do play in ensemble bands and orchestras.

Last January, Ali Ghamsari, a popular Iranian musician, was banned from performing after a woman sang during one of his concerts.

A month later, Iranian authorities banned the music of singer Hamid Askari and his band after his female guitarist Negin Parsa sang a solo at the end of a song at Tehran's Milad Tower Musi.

And in May, Iranian singer Negar Moazzam was summoned to court for singing to tourists in the village of Abyaneh.

It is unclear what Stone planned to otherwise do in Iran, though her Instagram post described her desire to show "the positives of our globe".

"I told them my story and explained my mission, to bring good feeling with what I have to give and show those who want to look the positives of our globe, all with the understanding that public performance wasn't an option in this scenario," she said.

"There is music everywhere, even here. We just have to play by their rules and they have to believe we will. It's a trust thing."

Iranian newspapers reported Stone's Instagram comments on Thursday, though there was no immediate government comment on her claims.

Stone earlier posted images of herself boarding a flight to Iran's Kish Island in the Gulf, which is an economic free zone that allows travel by all nationalities.

Stone came to fame in 2003 as a small-town teenager with a big, soulful voice, showcased on her best-selling debut album, The Soul Sessions, and hit singles including a cover of The White Stripes' song Fell In Love With A Boy.


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