British singer Joss Stone deported from Iran, put on 'blacklist'

Iran was meant to be the last stop on the singer's worldwide tour.

By
July 6, 2019 17:07
joss stone

English singer/songwriter Joss Stone. (photo credit: Courtesy)

Joscelyn Eve Stoker, a British singer and songwriter better known by her stage name Joss Stone, reports that she was detained and then deported out of Iran while visiting the country on her worldwide tour.

Stoker, 32, has been traveling around the world since 2014, participating and collaborating with local artists in every destination she has visited, normally featuring the genre of indigenous music the country tends to play - sometimes even performing impromptu sets.

In Iran women are not allowed perform solo concerts in public. While Iran does not have any specific law banning women from singing in public, authorities have punished female singers in the past. Most recently with Iranian singer Negar Moazzam, who uploaded the exchange with Iranian authorities to her 180,000 Instagram followers, a social media platform the Islamic Republic is attempting to ban along with their already successful countrywide ban on Twitter and Facebook.

The Iranian authorities detained Stoker at the airport, for fear that she would perform a public concert during her stay in the Islamic Republic. The singer claims the authorities put her on a type of "blacklist," and said that she knew Iran did not allow women to perform solo in public but she wanted to see the country anyway.

"After long discussions with the most friendly, charming and welcoming immigration people, the decision was made to detain us for the night and to deport us in the morning," Stoker said on her Instagram post according to the BBC. "Of course I was gutted. So close yet so far."

Stoker wrote in the Instagram post that she does not “fancy going to an Iranian prison,” and “nor am I trying to change the politics of the countries I visit.”

Stoker has recently made stops in many war-torn countries such as Yemen and Libya, performing with the local artists and sharing the interactions with her social media followers. She has spent the last five years of her life traveling around the world on this 200-stop tour, with Libya being the 198th stop.

"I told [the authorities] 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," Stoker said according to Al Jazeera. "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."

When word reached the world that Stoker was deported from the country, the state-run Islamic Republic of Iranian Broadcasting network sent out a statment claiming that she did not possess the correct documents to enter the country from Oman.

Iran was meant to be the last stop on the singer's worldwide tour.

Stoker, a Grammy-nominated artist, rose to fame in 2003 with her multi-platinum debut album The Soul Sessions - her second album Mind Body & Soul also did just as well and went multi-platinum in 2004.

 
 
 
 
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So , our very last country on the list was Iran . We were aware there couldn’t be a public concert as I am a woman and that is illegal in this country. Personally I don’t fancy going to an Iranian prison nor am I trying to change the politics of the countries I visit nor do I wish to put other people in danger. However, it seems the authority’s don’t believe we wouldn’t be playing a public show so they have popped us on what they call the ‘black list ‘ as we found out when we turned up to the immigration hall. After long discussions with the most friendly charming and welcoming immigration people the decision was made to detain us for the night and to deport us in the morning. Of course I was gutted. So close yet so far, this moment broke a little piece of my heart. Then I realised the silver lining was bright. 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. I still have to walk forward towards that goal some way some how. And of course music is my driver. Doesn’t mean we have to brake any laws though. There is music everywhere. Even here, we just have to play by there rules and they have to believe we will. It’s a trust thing. They were so kind to us, at one point I started to question it. The question whirled around my head, were they just luring is into a false sense of security so we would walk into our jail cells quietly with out a drama? Nope , these people are genuinely nice kind people that felt bad that they couldn’t over ride the system. They didn’t speak English so well so the translator Mohamed, who clearly had a lovely soul conveyed the message that they hoped we would go to embassy to sort it all out and come back, they were refusing us entry with a heavy heart and were so sorry. After Mo had left, the officers kept telling us sorry. They said sorry all the way through this process and kept saying this till we got on the plane they were sending us away on. We were the ones that should have been apologising for not having our correct paper work. The ball

A post shared by Joss Stone (@jossstone) on


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