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Popular Iranian singer Mohesen Namjoo sentenced in absentia to 5-year jail term


Press TV - Iran has sentenced renowned Iranian singer-composer Mohsen Namjoo to five years in prison over what has been described as insulting religious sanctities.

Mohsen Namjoo has been described by the New York Times as the 'Iranian Bob Dylan'.

After an Iranian Quran scholar filed a complaint against Namjoo, taking his musical performances of Quran verses to court, the Iranian judiciary gave the popular Iranian musician, who was absent from the hearing, a five-year prison sentence.

Namjoo, who practices a subtle form of protest music, was charged with "disrespecting religious sanctities", "a contemptuous performance of Quranic verses", and "insulting Muslim holy book".

He had presented "an insulting, sneering performance of Quranic verses with musical instruments," Namjoo's plaintiff said.

After the complaint was lodged, Namjoo's brother and lawyer Hamid Namjoo dismissed the accusation, saying the Iranian singer "did not mean any disrespect."

Namjoo himself did not provide any explanation in his defense.

The Iranian singer, composer, and Setar player -- described by the US daily The New York Times as the 'Iranian Bob Dylan' -- is not currently in Iran.

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