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Iran Claims Popular Rapper Detained In Turkey To Be Extradited

Amir-Hossein Maghsoudloo, stage name Amir Tataloo, a controversial Iranian rapper posted a handcuffed picture of himself on Instagram after Turkish police arrested him. January 28, 2020

Preliminary steps will be taken soon for the extradition of an Iranian rapper detained in Turkey, the Islamic Republic Prosecutor-General, Mohammad Javad Montazeri, disclosed in Tehran.

The disclosure shows that the Islamic Republic's hardliner Judiciary is determined to arrest the 36-year-old rapper, Amir-Hossein Maghsoudloo, aka Amir Tataloo.

The tattoo-covered Tataloo, an underground musician unauthorized for public performances by the Islamic Republic's Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance, was arrested in Istanbul following a request by Tehran, Iranian authorities said on January 28.

However, police in Turkey says that it has no plan to deport the controversial rapper to Iran, adding that they had detained Tataloo for a visa violation.

On his highly popular Instagram page, Tataloo posted a photograph showing him in handcuffs, and another captioned: "They said the Iranian government wants me."

More than 400,000 signatures have so far been collected, calling for Tataloo's immediate release and blocking his likely extradition to Iran.

"Soon, the signatures in favor of Tataloo will pass half a million, as we are set to tag the United States First Lady, Melania Trump, and the Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo," Tataloo's fans announced.

Police detained Tataloo last Tuesday while he was preparing to leave Istanbul for London.

At the same time, Iranian news outlets cited the Islamic Republic Police spokesman, Ahmad Nourian, as saying that Tataloo was arrested by the Turkish police after the Interpol issued a "Red Alert" for him.

Nonetheless, Tataloo's name is not on the list of Interpol's "Red Alert."

Meanwhile, an Iranian police spokesperson told the state-run Mehr News Agency (MNA) that police in Turkey had arrested Tataloo over drug-related charges. Iranian authorities have accused him of "encouraging citizens, especially the youth, to use drugs," a statement said.

With more than four million followers on Instagram, Tataloo is one of the most popular singers in the clergy-dominated Iran.