Thursday, 17 November 2011


A collection of stories, thoughts, poems, from persecuted writers from all over the world. It's published by Profile Books in association with PEN, an organisation aimed at promoting literature and freedom of expression.
The stories are most poignant and harrowing.
One example is the "little mistake" that led a writer to be close to be executed in an Iranian prison. Writer Reza Baraheni wan blindfolded and led to a hall to get food, walking with the arms on the shoulders of the prisoner in front. There he accidentally lost contact but after a struggle and panic found the shoulders again, only this time they belonged to the wrong line of prisoners. He was then led in the open and while enquiring about the different route he found out they were the prisoners about to be executed.
 His companion shouted out for him, the guard didn't believe at first, then he showed his foot without the typical markings given to the prisoners on death row, finally he was taken back to the food hall, where he heard the shots which would have taken his life.
It makes you feel so precarious and powerless. We take so much for granted, we forget what millions of people have to endure every day. An emotional and painful read but one that I feel proud to have read.
You can find more at this address:

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