Prisoner of Tehran

Marina Nemat

Prisoner of Tehran

In January 1982, Marina Nemat, then just 16, was arrested, tortured and sentenced to death for political crimes. Up to that point, her life in Tehran had centred around school, summer parties at the lake and her crush on Andre, the young man she had met at church. But when math and history were subordinated to the study of the Koran and political propaganda, Marina protested. Her teacher replied, "If you don't like it, leave." She did, and, to her surprise, other students followed.

Soon she was arrested, along with hundreds of other youths who had dared to speak out, and they were taken to the notorious Evin prison in Tehran. In Prisoner of Tehran, Marina tells the story of her incarceration and the remarkable turn of events that led to the commuting of her death sentence and to her eventual release.

Prisoner of Tehran was a contender for Canada Reads 2012. It was championed by Arlene Dickinson.


Why doesn't anyone ask me anything about the last two years?' I asked her. 'The answer is very simple. We're afraid to ask because we're afraid of knowing... Maybe if we don't talk about it, and maybe if we pretend it never happened, it will be forgotten.

From Prisoner of Tehran by Marina Nemat ©2007. Published by Viking/Penguin Canada.