Travel ban for Iranian poet Simin Behbabani

9 Mar 2010

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The high pressure on dissident artists, writers and intellectuals since the presidential election is going on. Yesterday morning, security forces did not allow the prominent Persian poet Simin Behbahani to fly from Tehran’s Imam Khomeini Airport to Paris. Behbahani told in an interview with the Iranian website Madreseh Feministi (the Feminist School): “The moment I was about to get on the plane, after passing customs and passport control and receiving my boarding card, a man took my passport away from me and told me I was forbidden to go abroad. I have been interrogated for hours and asked to appear before the revolutionary court.”
Simin Behbahani was on her way to Paris to give a speech on feminism at a conference yesterday on the occasion of International Women’s Day. “I was invited by the Paris Town Hall, and I intended to come back on Wednesday. Because of my old age, I prefer not be away for too long. I had written a speech and a poem for this special occasion.” Simin Behbahani (1927, Tehran) is one of the most prominent figures of modern Persian literature and one of the most outstanding amongst the contemporary Persian poets. She is Iran’s national poet and an icon of the Iranian intelligentsia and literati who affectionately refer to her as the lioness of Iran.

Tehran Review
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