Atash, the Iranian Heavy Metal musician who performs as Kaaboos, has been ordered by the Norwegian Government to leave Norway and return to his country of birth, Iran. “I am certain to be facing execution,” Atash said. This follows news that his asylum application was denied.
Kaaboos recently performed in front of the Iranian Embassy in Oslo, Norway, as a protest against the cultural totalitarianism of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Atash sought refuge in Norway, the true home of Black Metal, in order to freely express himself via this unique and versatile subculture. “The reason why I left Iran at the age of 16,” Atash said, “was due to the lack of freedom in my country. Religious restrictions on expression and, most importantly, belief, among many more, were what held me back from actually pursuing my passion and living a fulfilling life.
“Iran is a country of no sense and peace. Being forced to go by the Islamic rules was by no means a choice of mine. But due to the hardcore punishments and torture as a result of not doing so, I had no chance but to leave home and properly experience life elsewhere.”
Atash, whose name translates to Fire, has written a letter to the Norwegian Government in the hope of an appeal. The letter reads:
“I am an activist and a musician whose face and identity are already recognised by the Iranian Government. I have partaken in multiple acts of protests against the Islamic Government – most notably, my music performance outside the Iranian embassy on Friday 13th October 2023, which has since had headlines across multiple respected media sources. My face is all over the internet.
“Upon return to Iran my life would be in great danger due to the recognition I have received from the governmental people, also known as Basij.
“While discussing with my lawyer about appealing the case results and entering court, I have spent all of my savings from work in order to pay the NOK 50,000 cost of this process. With a deadline of 10th of January, the court date will not be announced and under no circumstance is it possible for me to return to Iran and attend court later in the year.
“In addition to the notorious nature of my case, it wouldn’t be possible for me to return to Iran due to my mandatory military services after the age of 18 (obliged for all men in Iran) which I’ve been absent from since I left Iran.
“Since May 2020, due to being away from Iran I have been absent from the military for over 3 years which results in punishment and imprisonment and losing my passport upon arrival and not being able to travel outside of Iran until service is completed. And in regards to my activities in the metal genre and community and the Iranian embassy holding personal information, arrest and additional punishments certainly await me upon arrival. I am certain to be facing execution.
“Therefore, I kindly ask for your support and help. It seems as if the UDI and UNE do not understand the severity of the situation in Iran, I cannot go back to my country safely. I have found my home and peace here in Norway, I work for 80% of my time as a waiter and bartender at a restaurant in Drammen and I strive to continue to work on my music for as long as I am alive.”
Atash concluded the letter by writing, “I beg you to spare my parents the thought of losing a son.”
You can reach Atash via his Instagram Page.