Joss Stone said she was “detained” and later “deported” after attempting to enter the Iranian island of Kish on Wednesday. The British singer and her team were making the final stop on their 200-country world tour that previously included stops in Syria and North Korea.
“So, our very last country on the list was Iran,” Stone told fans in an Instagram post. “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.”
“It seems the authority’s [sic] don’t believe we wouldn’t be playing a public show so they have popped us on what they call the ‘black list ‘ [sic] as we found out when we turned up to the immigration hall,” Stone continued.
Women were banned from performing publicly in Iran by the Ayatollah Khomeini during the 1979 Islamic Revolution, a decision that’s mostly been upheld by the conservative country’s leaders since, with exceptions being made for women singing for all-female audiences or performing alongside a man.
Stone was held overnight before being sent to the United Arab Emirates, according to the BBC who cites local media. In the post, Stone said she was “gutted” by the ordeal— which included spending time in a “jail cell,” but that she will try to visit again when she’s gotten her paperwork in order.
Stone said she found some hope after speaking to “immigration people.”
“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,” she wrote in the Instagram post.
“I still have to walk forward towards that goal some way some how. And of course music is my driver,” Stone wrote. “Doesn’t mean we have to brake [sic] any laws though. There is music everywhere. Even here, we just have to play by there rules and they have to believe we will.”
Stone began her 200-stop world tour in 2014 with a mission to bring “loveliness in a form of music to every country on our planet,” according to her website.
EW has reached out to representatives for Stone and Iran’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, but have not yet heard back.