Tuesday March 01, 2016

Hope Within Horror: Marina Nemat

Marina Nemat

Marina Nemat

Listen to Full Episode 54:00

When Marina Nemat was 16 and living in Tehran, she was arrested at gunpoint and sentenced to life in Iran's most notorious prison, where she was repeatedly tortured and assaulted. She now lives just north of Toronto, and argues that the best way to combat evil in the world is through small acts of kindness. 

"That is humanity -- when we love despite evil, when we care despite evil, when we stand against evil with what can fight it the best. Evil cannot fight evil. My friends taught me that even in a place like Evin Prison, there is a clear road to humanity. And I will never ever forget that"
- Marina Nemat


Marina Nemat was born in Tehran in 1965 to Russian parents. She watched the Iranian revolution from her apartment window. During her imprisonment she was repeatedly tortured and forced to marry one of her interrogators. She was released after completing just more than 2 years of her life sentence. She came to Canada in 1991. 

Her memoir Prisoner of Tehran has been published in 28 countries. She now teaches creative writing at the University of Toronto's school of continuing studies and she speaks out against torture of any kind. She's a board member of the Canadian Centre for Victims of Torture

You can visit her photo gallery here.

This episode is based on a lecture she delivered as part of the International Issues Discussion series at Ryerson University in Toronto.