15. februar: Poet i lukka land

Dato: 15.02.2019
Tid: 16.00 – 16.45
Stad: Alver, Litteraturhuset Bergen
Pris: 100/70,- (stud.)

Korleis er livet som kvinne og poet i Iran og Saudi-Arabia?

Til tross for at dei to landa i Midtausten har mykje til felles både kulturelt og religiøst, er dei bitre fiendar. Men kunsten gjer det mogleg å møtast på same scene: Asieh Amini er frå Iran, men busett i Noreg. Saman med saudiarabiske Hissa Hilal kjem ho til festivalen for å snakke om skrivearbeidet, poesiens plass i Midtausten og korleis livet som kvinne og kunstnar artar seg.

Samtalen vil vere på engelsk.

Norsk PEN Vestlandet i samarbeid med LittfestBergen.

15. februar: Film: Forteljingar om mot

Dato: 15.02.2019
Tid: 14.00 – 15.15
Stad: Auditoriet, Litteraturhuset, Bergen

Kva gjorde Mansur Rajih frå Jemen, Asieh Amini frå Iran, Philo Ikonya frå Kenya og Musa Mutaev til eit trugsmål for makta i heimlanda? I denne dokumentaren syner regissør Kari Klyve-Skaug fram det motet som trengst for å heve stemma i møte med urett.

Asieh Amini og Mansur Rajih er gjester på LittfestBergen, og vil etter filmen lese dikt som innleiing til PENs postkortaksjon.

Norsk PEN, avdeling Vestlandet i samarbeid med LittfestBergen.

Gratis.

Filmen er teksta på engelsk.

Appell til støtte for regimekritiske protester i Iran

Asieh Amini, styremedlem i Norsk PEN, holder appell foran Stortinget til støtte for det iranske folket.

I de siste ukene har det iranske folket protestert mot tyranniet, og situasjonen i Iran har fått oppmerksomhet fra media og folk over hele verden. De protesterende krever demokrati og sosial rettferdighet i Iran, de krever grunnleggende menneskerettigheter og verdighet. Demonstrasjonene blir sett og hørt av det iranske regimet, som møter demonstrantene med brutal makt og undertrykkelse.

Appell ved Asieh Amini, styremedlem i Norsk PEN.

Artikkel 19 i Verdenserklæringen om Menneskerettigheter gir alle rett til menings- og ytringsfrihet. Denne retten «omfatter frihet til å hevde meninger uten innblanding og til å søke, motta og meddele opplysninger og ideer gjennom ethvert meddelelsesmiddel og uten hensyn til landegrenser».

Å kritisere, protestere og si «nei» til regimet er det iranske folkets rettigheter. Men hvordan kan folk si sin mening når iranske myndigheter systematisk og vedvarende sensurerer media, trakasserer journalister og aktivister, blokkerer aktiviteter fra sivilsamfunnet og arbeidstakerorganisasjoner og forbyr folket å demonstrere?

Det iranske regimet har i stedet for å lytte til folket svart med undertrykkelse, tyranni og vold.
Vi i Norsk PEN ser at iranske journalister og sivile aktivister jobber med fredelige metoder for å forsvare sine rettigheter og støtte folket. Men svaret på denne fredelige innsatsen har ikke vært noe annet enn vold, fengslinger og trakassering fra regimet. Vi har vært vitne til forfølgelsen av kvinner og menn som har lidd de strengeste straffene og til og med mistet livet bare for å si sannheten, bare for å ha brukt sin grunnleggende rett til å ytre seg fritt. Iran topper listen over land som har flest fengslede forfattere og journalister rundt om i verden, sammen med Tyrkia, Egypt og Kina.

Nå har folk gått ut i gatene, de protesterer og verden hører dem.
Vi hører dem: arbeidere, studenter, lærere og alle i gatene i Iran som sier nei til tyranniet! Vi hører dere! Og vi krever sammen med dere retten til å protestere, til å si hva dere mener om staten Iran. Og den retten må respekteres og anerkjennes av myndighetene.

Norsk PEN viser solidaritet med det iranske folket og krever at det iranske regimet må stanse all voldsbruk mot folket! Vi står sammen med folket som kjemper for vår felles verdighet, rettferdighet, likestilling og demokrati. Vi forsvarer retten til ytringsfrihet, retten til å kritisere regimet, bestemme dens politiske og sosiale status i en rettferdig og demokratisk prosess i Iran.

Appell ved Asieh Amini, styremedlem i Norsk PEN
Holdt lørdag 13. januar 2018 kl. 12.00, Eidsvolds plass

Anledning: Markering til støtte for regimekritiske protester i Iran

Asieh Amini

asieh-amini
Photo by: Javad Montazeri

Asieh Amini, poet, journalist, and activist, was born in 1973 in Mazandaran Province in Northern Iran. While completing her studies in journalism at Allameh Tabataba’I University in Tehran, Amini worked for several newspapers such as Iran, Zan, and Etemaad (where she worked as social editor), and would later go on to manage the website “Women in Iran”.

From 2004, Amini fought indefatigably to garner international aid and attention for Iranian cases of stoning, juvenile execution, and various kinds of discrimination against women and girls. In October 2006, Amini co-founded the campaign “Stop Stoning Forever”, and became fully immersed in her work as an activist for women’s rights. Her seminal work in journalism has helped to expose Iran’s ongoing stonings, despite Ayatollah Shahroudi’s 2002 moratorium banning the practice.

Amini has emerged triumphantly from a world of arrests, threats, discrimination and censorship to be lauded for her achievements worldwide. In 2005, Amini’s first book of poetry was selected by UNESCO’s office in Tehran as the best poetry collection from young and emerging Iranian poets. Her other accolades include the Human Rights Watch Hellmann/Hammett award (2009), the Oxfam Novib/PEN award (2012), and the Ord i Grenseland Prize (2014).

After a brief imprisonment in 2007, Amini continued her work and activism under pressure. Following a controversial presidential election in 2009, she left her home and eventually came to reside as an ICORN guest writer in Trondheim (2010-2012). She published her first poetry collection in Norwegian in 2011, entitled Kom ikke til min drømmer med gavær (“Don’t come into my dreams with guns”, translated from Farsi into Norwegian by Nina Zandjani), which was followed by a second collection in 2013, Jeg savner å savne deg (“I miss missing you”).

Amini underlines that although her work fighting stoning and the death penalty is of grave importance, and the number of executions in Iran has even increased, these causes should not overshadow various other issues concerning human rights in Iran. Amini asserts, “I believe that the basis of transition and change should be arranged within a society, and in connection with a world community of civil societies. Unfortunately, in Iran, we have had problems with both”. Despite fierce and dedicated activism in the fields of women’s rights, workers’ movements, student movements, human rights groups, and media, Amini feels that the voices of these civil society activists are often silenced domestically, and “hardly heard in the international community because of political and economic interests”.

When asked to highlight a single issue for the international rights community, Amini replied unequivocally: “the freedom of expression of independent civil society. After the Islamic revolution in 1979, and especially after the political conflicts in the 1980’s, during which thousands of people were imprisoned or executed,[Iranians] have never really experienced freedom of speech”.

Amini compares the initial shock and impact of moving to Norway to a business man suddenly losing all of his wealth; “as a poet and journalist, [your] language and audience are your wealth. You can’t bring them to your new home when you move”. Amini recalls her tears upon hearing her daughter speak in her sleep, in a language her mother could not understand. The challenge of a new life caught Amini on the precipice of an abyss, in danger of falling into a deep depression. Rather than tumble over the edge, Amini gritted her teeth, learned Norwegian, and moved forward fearlessly. She credits her continued success in Norway primarily to her family, and to her ICORN coordinator. The latter’s efforts and familiarity with the challenges that face new guest writers helped to ease Amini’s transition into her new community, and aided in creating a growing network that would allow her to continue her work as a writer.

Amini is currently working on a new documentary book, as well as a new book of poetry, while simultaneously completing a Master’s at NTNU in Equality and Diversity. She continues her fight for freedom of speech in cooperation with Norwegian PEN, for which she currently serves on the Board of Directors, as well as maintaining her contacts in the Iranian community of human and women’s rights.

To read more about Asieh Amini’s work in Iran concerning stoning and juvenile execution, see Laura Secor’s article, “War of Words”, as featured in the New Yorker (January, 2016):

http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2016/01/04/war-of-words-annals-of-activism-laura-secor

October 2016: Asieh Amini

Guest Writer of the Month

asieh-amini
Photo by: Javad Montazeri

Asieh Amini, poet, journalist, and activist, was born in 1973 in Mazandaran Province in Northern Iran. While completing her studies in journalism at Allameh Tabataba’I University in Tehran, Amini worked for several newspapers such as Iran, Zan, and Etemaad (where she worked as social editor), and would later go on to manage the website “Women in Iran”.

From 2004, Amini fought indefatigably to garner international aid and attention for Iranian cases of stoning, juvenile execution, and various kinds of discrimination against women and girls. In October 2006, Amini co-founded the campaign “Stop Stoning Forever”, and became fully immersed in her work as an activist for women’s rights. Her seminal work in journalism has helped to expose Iran’s ongoing stonings, despite Ayatollah Shahroudi’s 2002 moratorium banning the practice.

Amini has emerged triumphantly from a world of arrests, threats, discrimination and censorship to be lauded for her achievements worldwide. In 2005, Amini’s first book of poetry was selected by UNESCO’s office in Tehran as the best poetry collection from young and emerging Iranian poets. Her other accolades include the Human Rights Watch Hellmann/Hammett award (2009), the Oxfam Novib/PEN award (2012), and the Ord i Grenseland Prize (2014).

After a brief imprisonment in 2007, Amini continued her work and activism under pressure. Following a controversial presidential election in 2009, she left her home and eventually came to reside as an ICORN guest writer in Trondheim (2010-2012). She published her first poetry collection in Norwegian in 2011, entitled Kom ikke til min drømmer med gavær (“Don’t come into my dreams with guns”, translated from Farsi into Norwegian by Nina Zandjani), which was followed by a second collection in 2013, Jeg savner å savne deg (“I miss missing you”).

Amini underlines that although her work fighting stoning and the death penalty is of grave importance, and the number of executions in Iran has even increased, these causes should not overshadow various other issues concerning human rights in Iran. Amini asserts, “I believe that the basis of transition and change should be arranged within a society, and in connection with a world community of civil societies. Unfortunately, in Iran, we have had problems with both”. Despite fierce and dedicated activism in the fields of women’s rights, workers’ movements, student movements, human rights groups, and media, Amini feels that the voices of these civil society activists are often silenced domestically, and “hardly heard in the international community because of political and economic interests”.

When asked to highlight a single issue for the international rights community, Amini replied unequivocally: “the freedom of expression of independent civil society. After the Islamic revolution in 1979, and especially after the political conflicts in the 1980’s, during which thousands of people were imprisoned or executed, [Iranians] have never really experienced freedom of speech”.

Amini compares the initial shock and impact of moving to Norway to a business man suddenly losing all of his wealth; “as a poet and journalist, [your] language and audience are your wealth. You can’t bring them to your new home when you move”. Amini recalls her tears upon hearing her daughter speak in her sleep, in a language her mother could not understand. The challenge of a new life caught Amini on the precipice of an abyss, in danger of falling into a deep depression. Rather than tumble over the edge, Amini gritted her teeth, learned Norwegian, and moved forward fearlessly. She credits her continued success in Norway primarily to her family, and to her ICORN coordinator. The latter’s efforts and familiarity with the challenges that face new guest writers helped to ease Amini’s transition into her new community, and aided in creating a growing network that would allow her to continue her work as a writer.

Amini is currently working on a new documentary book, as well as a new book of poetry, while simultaneously completing a Master’s at NTNU in Equality and Diversity. She continues her fight for freedom of speech in cooperation with Norwegian PEN, for which she currently serves on the Board of Directors, as well as maintaining her contacts in the Iranian community of human and women’s rights.

To read more about Asieh Amini’s work in Iran concerning stoning and juvenile execution, see Laura Secor’s article, “War of Words”, as featured in the New Yorker (January, 2016):

http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2016/01/04/war-of-words-annals-of-activism-laura-secor

Fribyforfatter Asieh Amini mottar Ord i Grenselandprisen 2014

Overrekkelsen skjer under åpningen av Ord i Grenseland, torsdag 4. september.  Amini hadde arbeidet som journalist i Iran i mange år da hun i 2003 ble tvunget til å gå under jorden.  Hun ble overvåket og kontrollert og i 2007 ble hun arrestert og plassert i det beryktede Evin-fengselet.  Etter å ha blitt løslatt flyktet hun fra Iran og kom til Norge og Trondheim i 2009.  Hun var fribyforfatter i Trondheim fram til 2011.

Norsk PEN gratulerer med prisen.

Iransk fribyforfatter i Trondheim får internasjonal pris

Iranian Journalist Receives the Oxfam Novib / PEN Award.

The Hague, January 13. The Iranian journalist, blogger and activist Asieh Aminiwill be receiving the Oxfam Novib / Pen Award on January 19 from the hands of human rights ambassador Lionel Veer. The presentation will take place at the ‘Theatre at the Spui’ in The Hague, during the Writers Unlimited Winter Nights Festival. This award is presented every year to writers and journalists who are persecuted or have had to flee because of their critical writing.

Asieh Amini left Iran in 2007, after five days of incarceration in Iran’s notorious Evin Prison due to her protests against the imprisonment of a fellow activist. At the moment she lives in exile in Norway, where she continues to speak out against social injustice and to write poetry and non-fiction. She is also active in the ‘Stop Stoning Forever Campaign’, which monitors incidences of stoning in Iran, reports them and collects evidence.

The following writers will also be receiving the Oxfam Novib / PEN Award, but will not be present at the presentation:

·         Mikhail Beketov, Russian journalist and former editor of the independent newspaper Khimkinskaya Pravda.

·         Rachid Nino, Moroccan editor of the daily Almasae and owner of the Massae Media Group.

·         Jesus Lemus Baragja, Mexican journalist and writer, former editor of the daily El Tiempo.

·         Alhaj Warrag and Abdul-Moneim Suleiman, respectively founder and chief editor from Sudan of the Arab newspaper Ajras el Hurriya.

The presentation will be followed by a discussion: Naema Tahir will engage Asieh Amini and writers Leila Chudori (Indonesia) and Bejan Matur (Turkey) in a discussion on women’s rights and sexuality. Kader Abdolah will be speaking the closing words.

The presentation of the Oxfam Novib / PEN Award is part of the Writers Unlimited Winter Nights Festival, which takes place in The Hague from Thursday January 19 to Sunday January 22.

About the Oxfam Novib / PEN Award. The international writers association PEN (Poets, Editors, Essay writers and Novelists) is a partner organisation of Oxfam Novib and committed to helping persecuted writers. The PEN Emergency Fund helps persecuted writers and those who have had to flee with a one-off amount of € 2,500 to help them overcome problems. Five awards are presented annually, but only one of the laureates visits the Netherlands. The Oxfam Novib / PEN Award went earlier to Hrant Dink (Turkey), Duong Thu Huong (Vietnam) and Ann Politkovskaya (Russia). Last year Russian film-maker Andrei Nekrasov received the award. As international city of justice, peace and security The Hague is the logical place for presenting the award.

Iranian City of Refuge-writer awarded PEN-prize

Iranian Journalist Receives the Oxfam Novib / PEN Award

The Hague, January 13. The Iranian journalist, blogger and activist Asieh Amini will be receiving the Oxfam Novib / Pen Award on January 19 from the hands of human rights ambassador Lionel Veer. The presentation will take place at the ‘Theatre at the Spui’ in The Hague, during the Writers Unlimited Winter Nights Festival. This award is presented every year to writers and journalists who are persecuted or have had to flee because of their critical writing.

Asieh Amini left Iran in 2007, after five days of incarceration in Iran’s notorious Evin Prison due to her protests against the imprisonment of a fellow activist. At the moment she lives in exile in Norway, where she continues to speak out against social injustice and to write poetry and non-fiction. She is also active in the ‘Stop Stoning Forever Campaign’, which monitors incidences of stoning in Iran, reports them and collects evidence.

The following writers will also be receiving the Oxfam Novib / PEN Award, but will not be present at the presentation:

·         Mikhail Beketov, Russian journalist and former editor of the independent newspaper Khimkinskaya Pravda.

·         Rachid Nino, Moroccan editor of the daily Almasae and owner of the Massae Media Group.

·         Jesus Lemus Baragja, Mexican journalist and writer, former editor of the daily El Tiempo.

·         Alhaj Warrag and Abdul-Moneim Suleiman, respectively founder and chief editor from Sudan of the Arab newspaper Ajras el Hurriya.

The presentation will be followed by a discussion: Naema Tahir will engage Asieh Amini and writers Leila Chudori (Indonesia) and Bejan Matur (Turkey) in a discussion on women’s rights and sexuality. Kader Abdolah will be speaking the closing words.

The presentation of the Oxfam Novib / PEN Award is part of the Writers Unlimited Winter Nights Festival, which takes place in The Hague from Thursday January 19 to Sunday January 22.

About the Oxfam Novib / PEN Award. The international writers association PEN (Poets, Editors, Essay writers and Novelists) is a partner organisation of Oxfam Novib and committed to helping persecuted writers. The PEN Emergency Fund helps persecuted writers and those who have had to flee with a one-off amount of € 2,500 to help them overcome problems. Five awards are presented annually, but only one of the laureates visits the Netherlands. The Oxfam Novib / PEN Award went earlier to Hrant Dink (Turkey), Duong Thu Huong (Vietnam) and Ann Politkovskaya (Russia). Last year Russian film-maker Andrei Nekrasov received the award. As international city of justice, peace and security The Hague is the logical place for presenting the award.