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Afghan pop star's killer sentenced for Vancouver mosque harassment

Ahmad Seiar Froogh was earlier convicted of manslaughter in an Afghan pop star's B.C. death.
vancouver provincial court criminal
The new charges stem from a March 25 incident.

A Vancouver man who pleaded guilty to criminal harassment of a person from an East Vancouver mosque has been sentenced to a three-year conditional sentence.

Ahmad Seiar Froogh pleaded guilty to the count involving harassing phone calls and texts to the daughter of a mosque official.

Froogh, 36, then 22, was convicted of manslaughter in the May 2005 death of Afghan pop singer Nasrat Parsa and sentenced in 2009 to house arrest and probation.

The new charges stem from a March 25 incident where the woman involved feared for her safety.

Crown prosecutor Rosanne Sinclair told Vancouver provincial court Judge Kathryn Denhoff that the woman had been at the East Hastings mosque when the door buzzer began ringing through to her phone repeatedly. She ignored it, court heard.

“She began to become increasingly concerned,” Sinclair said. “He did harass the main complainant.”

The day after the buzzer incidents, Froogh had sent the woman a message saying he was waiting for her at her work, followed by more messages.

“She called police,” Sinclair said. Froogh was soon arrested.

Sinclair said Froogh had earlier caused concerns at the mosque with erratic behaviour. A month earlier, he had thrown a rock at the mosque, Sinclair said.

The court heard Froogh had been placed on a peace bond in 2018 due to behaviour concerns.

Sinclair said the woman had also received obsessive messages, including where he believed the woman was the mother of his child.

Ian Bownick, an articling student with defence lawyer Rishi Gill, told the court Froogh was born in Afghanistan and witnessed significant violence during the war there.

Both Bownick and Sinclair detailed Froogh’s attempts to deal with depression and schizophrenia, the latter condition not having been diagnosed until after the mosque-related incidents.

Denhoff agreed to the conditional sentence, noting the fact Froogh’s schizophrenia had not been diagnosed. Further, she took into account the three months he was in custody for a court fitness assessment.

“None of this threatened violence,” she said.

The pop star

In the earlier case, B.C. Supreme Court Justice Geoffrey Gaul ordered Froogh to serve two years of house arrest and three years of probation.

The court heard that Froogh and some friends followed Parsa to his Kingsway hotel to get an autograph after they had attended his concert at Vancouver's Queen Elizabeth Theatre.

Froogh approached the 35-year-old Parsa and suddenly punched him. The court heard the singer suffered facial bruising. Parsa fell down a flight of stairs and died four days later of a brain injury.

“It was a classic example of a single punch that led to a fall resulting in a tragic death,” Denhoff said.

Parsa was considered one of Afghanistan’s most popular singers. He left Kabul as a 12-year-old prodigy and went on to study music in India before settling in Germany.

Parsa had released a total of 10 albums.

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