Iran General NewsIran singer gets five-year jail term

Iran singer gets five-year jail term

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ImageAFP: An Iranian singer, Mohsen Namjoo, has been sentenced in absentia to a five-year jail term for ridiculing the Koran holy book in a song, reformist daily Etemad Melli reported on Tuesday.

ImageTEHRAN (AFP) — An Iranian singer, Mohsen Namjoo, has been sentenced in absentia to a five-year jail term for ridiculing the Koran holy book in a song, reformist daily Etemad Melli reported on Tuesday.

"He was sentenced on June 9 to five years in jail for insulting sanctities, ridiculing the Koran and dishonouring the holy book of the Muslims," it quoted a Koran expert and plaintiff in the case, Abbas Salimi Namin, as saying.

Fars news agency, quoting an unnamed judge involved in the case, said Namjoo who has moved to Vienna was convicted for "his unconventional singing of the Koran," in a private recording four years ago.

In September 2008, Namjoo apologised in a letter addressed to his mother, to clerics and the Iranian people, for having recorded the song and said he had never intended to release it.

According to the Iranian Koran News Agency (IKNA), the popular singer maintains he was the victim of an "unauthorised release" of his work on the Internet and planned to sue those who posted it.

His brother, Hamid, said the family would appeal against the jail sentence.

Namjoo, who fuses traditional Iranian music with pop and jazz, has also sang in solidarity with protesters who took to the streets after the Islamic republic's disputed June 12 presidential election.

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