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Popular Rapper Arrested In Turkey Facing Deportation Back To Iran

Amirhossein Maghsoudloo, stage name Amir Tataloo, controversial Iranian rapper posted a handcuffed picture of himself on Instagram after Turkish police arrested him.

A popular and controversial Iranian rapper living in Turkey has been arrested by the immigration police and is feared to be in danger of being deported back to Iran.

In his Instagram story on Tuesday Amir-Hossein Maqsoudlou (Maghsouldloo) who is better known by his stage name Amir Tataloo, posted photos and videos which showed him handcuffed inside a police car and said Turkish immigration police had detained him and were sending him back to Iran on a request by the Islamic Republic.

In his latest message, Tataloo who appears to be still in detention in an unspecified location in Turkey said he had been allowed to keep his mobile "because he is an artist". This message appears to have been posted around 14:00 GMT on January 28.

In another part of his Instagram story, Tataloo who had recently received his British visa said he was leaving for London today but at around 6:00 GMT he posted photos and videos showing him in handcuffs in a police car.

According to the artist's own Instagram messages, the Turkish Police arrested him because "Iran wants him back and has issued a warrant to the Interpol". His name, however, does not appear on the Interpol wanted lists.

Rapper Amir Tataloo meeting hardliner presidential election candidate Ayatollah Ebrahim Raeesi. 2017
Rapper Amir Tataloo meeting hardliner presidential election candidate Ayatollah Ebrahim Raeesi. 2017

Tataloo had in recent weeks posted several other messages which might have been the reason Iran wants him back. In one of these messages posted after General Qassem Soleimani's death, he implies that Soleimani had in some way behaved in a cowardly fashion toward him after he did favors or services for the powerful general. Tataloo did not elaborate what were these favors.

"I forgive him, I even forgive the intelligence guys who tortured me when I was held in solitary confinement. I forgive the country that made me escape", he said. In another Instagram message, he appeared to be deriding the Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.

Tataloo left Iran in 2017 and after living in Georgia for a while went to Turkey where he held several concerts. He was leaving for London when he was arrested by the Turkish police.

Iran Police Spokesman General Ahmad Nourian has confirmed Tataloo's arrest and said he was arrested by the Turkish Police by the request of the Iranian Police and "currently the procedure for his transfer to Iran is underway."

In 2017 Tataloo met with Ebrahim Raeesi, President Hassan Rouhani's rival in the presidential election, reportedly under pressure. The meeting of the high ranking cleric with the tattooed rapper, which probably meant to attract the votes of his several million young fans, raised many eyebrows.