Baha’i Poet Jailed in Iran Wins Free Speech PEN Pinter Prize

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OCTOBER 10, 2017

LONDON — A Baha’i poet who was jailed for almost a decade in Iran has won a writing award celebrating free speech.

Mahvash Sabet shares the PEN Pinter prize with Northern Ireland poet Michael Longley. The award was announced Tuesday in London.

Sabet was one of seven Baha’i leaders detained in 2008 and sentenced for espionage in 2010. She was released in September.

A volume of her verses, “Prison Poems,” was published in Britain in 2013.

Iran’s Baha’i minority has been persecuted since the religion was banned after the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

The award was established in 2009 in memory of Nobel Prize-winning playwright Harold Pinter. It goes jointly to a British, Irish or Commonwealth writer who shares Pinter’s “unflinching, unswerving” gaze on society, and an international writer who has faced persecution.


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