Mahvash Sabeth: Prison Poems

Adapted from the original Persian by Bahiyyih Nakhjavani, based on translations by Violette and Ali Nakhjavani, Oxford: George Ronald, 2013

* 1953, Ardestan, Iran

Charge: Spying for Israel and blasphemous propaganda against the Islamic Republic
Prison: Evin, Ghohardasht, Gharchak (Iran) (Map)

'Mahvash Sabet is a member of the Bahá'í community of Iran. She served for the past years as secretary of an informal council of seven individuals known as the Yaran, who have been responsible for managing the affairs of the Iranian Bahá'í community. (...) After the establishment of the Islamic Republic, she was expelled from her position and was permanently barred from all teaching posts connected with the State. For the next fifteen years, she was involved in running the Bahá'í Institute of Higher Education, which provided alternative educational opportunities for Bahá'í youth who had been denied access to universities by the State.
On 5 March 2008, Mahvash Sabet was arrested in Mashhad by representatives of the Ministry of Intelligence and National Security. She was later transferred to the security section of the detention centre of Evin in Tehran where the six other members of the Yaran soon joined her, after early morning raids on their homes on 14 May. Like them, she was jailed for two-and-a-half years without a proper hearing, and kept both in solitary confinement and with her companion Fariba Kamalabadi, in the penitentiaries of Evin, Ghohardasht, and Gharchak. She was also subjected, with them, to trials on 12 January, 7, February and 12 April 2010, each of which was aborted because of constitutional irregularities. She was finally convicted and condemned, as they were, to twenty years imprisonment on 12 June 2010. But she has in fact been detained longer than all of them so far.'

from Foreword by Mahnaz Parakand, xi

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