Dramatist to read poerty illuminating religious persecution | TheUnion.com

Dramatist to read poerty illuminating religious persecution

Submitted by Teresa Langness

Persian poet Mahvash Sabet, upon her release from prison in the spring of 2017.

The book "Prison Poems" reveals both courage and despair as a Persian poet shares insights from those around the world still persecuted for their religious beliefs. The author, Mahvash Sabet, was released from Tehran's notorious Evin Prison in spring 2017, after nine years incarcerated with her fellow religious leaders. Veteran Nevada County dramatist René Sprattling will read selections from "Prison Poems" at 7 p.m. on Jan. 22 at the Madelyn Helling Public Library at 980 Helling Way. The event, sponsored by the Baha'is of Nevada County, is free to the public. Light refreshments will be served.

Sabet was one of seven members of the former leadership group of Baha'is in Tehran imprisoned due to religious beliefs, set to serve 20-year prison sentences. She began writing poetry in prison and a collection of her poetry was published in English translation on April 1, 2013. PEN International called on the Iranian authorities to release Sabet and all other writers imprisoned in Iran solely for exercising their right to legitimate freedom of expression. Congress also repeatedly condemned the systematic, state-sponsored persecution of Baha'is in Iran.

In September of 2017, Sabet was the first of the group of seven to gain early release from prison, having served more than nine years in detention. Following her release, she issued a public call for the release of her six fellow detainees. For more information, email Teresa at TLangness@gmail.com.

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