Nasrin Parvaz was born in Tehran. In post-revolutionary Iran she became a women’s and civil rights activist. She was arrested, tortured and sentenced to death in 1982. Her sentence was commuted to ten years imprisonment and she was actually released in 1990.
After her release, Nasrin resumed her activities and once again she found herself being followed by Islamic guards. Some of her friends were re-arrested and she realised she could no longer stay in Iran and she fled here to England, where she claimed asylum in 1993. She was granted refugee status a year later, and has since lived in London. She studied for a degree in Psychology and subsequently gained an MA in International Relations at Middlesex University, She then completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Applied Systemic Theory at the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust, where she worked in a team of family therapists.
Nasrin’s prison memoir was published in Farsi in 2002. A summary of her memoir was published in Feminist Review (number 73) in 2003; and it was published in Italian in 2006 by Effedue Edizioni.
Another work Temptation based on the true stories of some male prisoners who survived the 1988 massacre of Iranian prisoners was published in Farsi in 2008.
Nasrin has given talks on the violation of human rights in Iran, both in Farsi and in English, in a number of countries including Canada, Sweden, the UK and Italy. She has spoken at the Edinburgh International Book Festival, the Ledbury Poetry Festival and Eloquent Protest (2008), and for organizations such as Amnesty International and the Medical Foundation.
One of Nasrin’s short stories, A war against womanhood, won the Women’s World Award in 2003; in 2010, another was longlisted for the Bristol Short Story Prize and a third shortlisted for the Asham Award. Together with poet Hubert Moore, Nasrin has translated some poems, prohibited in Iran, from Farsi into English. They appear in the Modern Poetry in Translation series, and one, ‘Dear Fahimeh’, was republished in Fire in the Soul: 100 poems for human rights (New Internationalist, 2009).