Simin Behbahani, Iran’s most outspoken poet and a Nobel Prize nominee, passed away in Tehran.
Poet Simin Behbahani, a champion of women’s rights and free speech whose lyrical verse captured the hopes and disappointments of Iranians since the 1979 revolution, has died on Aug 19 at the age of 87. After nearly two weeks in the Tehran Pars hospital, she died of heart and respiratory complications, according to state news agency IRNA. She was nearly blind towards the end of her life.
Nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1999 and 2002, she earned the unofficial title of the “Lioness of Iran” for what admirers saw as her courage in the face of official censorship. “Until now, I’ve said what I’ve had to say, I’ve always said I’m against death, I’m against killing and I’m against imprisonment,” she told the BBC’s Persian service in 2012.