Asieh Amini is awarded this year’s Ord i Grenseland prize. The award will be presented this Saturday, 6. September 2014, and consists of a stipend of 30.000 NOK. The award is a collaboration between the Ord i Grenseland Festival, the municipality of Fredrikstad, Fredrikstad Library, Fredrikstad House of Literature, det Kvindelige Læseselskab and Fredriksstad Blad.
Asieh Amini is one of Iran’s most famous Women’s Rights activists, and worked for an Iranian newspaper when she was forced to go underground in 2003 after involving herself in the case of a 16 year old girl who was sentenced to death by stoning. The girl was subsequently killed, and Amin’s newspaper did not dare print her story. Amini found herself, her actions, e-mails and phone calls being monitored by the authorities, and in 2007 she was arrested and imprisoned. After being released from prison, she fled the country in 2009 and became a guest writer in Trondheim, Norway.
Asieh Amini was declared to be the most outstanding young poet in Iran by UNESCO in 2005, and is one of the founders of the “Stop Stoning Forever Campaign”, which was founded in 2008 and demonstrably has saved several people from death by stoning. She has continued her struggle for women’s rights while in exile, publishing newspaper articles, essays, novels and poems, and speaking out in public about the issue. In 2011, she published her first book in Norwegian, “Kom ikke til mine drømmer med gevær” ("Do not enter my dreams with a gun"), a collection of poems which was widely praised in Norwegian media. In 2013, she published her second book in Norwegian, called "Jeg savner å savne deg" ("I miss missing you").
The Ord i Grenseland award is presented each year, to a female fiction writer or poet who is persecuted, threatened or imprisoned. Amini is awarded the prize for having challenged and questioned religious, social and cultural conventions, and for rendering the female experience through a freedom perspective. Last year’s recipient of the Ord i Grenseland Prize was Asli Erdogan, also a persecuted female writer, from Turkey.