Toronto author Marina Nemat awarded first "Human Dignity" prize by European Parliament; presentation in Milan, Italy, on December 15, 2007


    TORONTO, Dec. 11 /CNW/ - Toronto-area author Marina Nemat will be
presented with the European Parliament's first "Human Dignity" prize on
December 15, 2007, in Milan Italy. The prize is to be given annually by the
Vice-President of the European Parliament and the cultural association "Europa
2004."
    Ms Nemat will travel to Milan for the presentation by Mario Mauro, the
Vice-President of the European Parliament.
    Ms Nemat, 42, received the award for her book Prisoner of Teheran that
recounts her experiences in captivity in Iran's notorious Evin Prison. She had
been arrested at age 16 when she complained to her teacher, appointed by the
new Khomeini regime, that math lessons were being replaced by Islamic studies.
Sentenced to death, she was rescued from the firing squad by an Iranian
Revolutionary Guard who exacted a shocking price - a forced marriage to him
and conversion to Islam. The guard was later assassinated by a rival faction.
She was released after two years and later married her sweetheart, the boy
from her church, Andre Nemat. They escaped to Canada in 1991.
    Prisoner of Teheran was published in 2007 and has been acclaimed
internationally with editions in more than 22 countries.
    The Human Dignity prize "celebrates organizations and individuals working
for a world free from intolerance and social injustice, a world where
fundamental human rights are respected."
    Mario Mauro said in a news release that Ms Nemat was chosen "because of
her strength of mind despite her life experiences."
    "The way she talks about her fate passes on a message of hope to all
mistreated people," the release says.




For further information: Penguin Books Canada: Debbie Gaudet, publicist;
Diane Turbide, editor: (416) 925-2249; Beverley Slopen, Slopen Literary
Agency: (416) 964-9598; European Parliament: Mario Mauro,
mario.mauro@europarl.europa.eu; US publisher: Free Press/Simon & Schuster NYC,
jill.siegel@simonandschuster.com