Gay Iranian Poet Gets Israel Entry

Minister approves visit by Payam Feili, a supporter of Jewish state who is persecuted in home nation for his sexuality and views


Interior Minister Silvan Shalom has approved entry into Israel for exiled Iranian poet Payam Feili, Israel Radio reported Tuesday.

Feili’s visit coincides with the Tel Aviv premier of the play “Three Reasons”, which is based in part on his poetry.

The openly gay 30-year-old has been living in Turkey for over a year, having been forced into exile from Iran after numerous arrests, threats, censorship and run-ins with the Iran’s conservative Revolutionary Guards.

Continue reading in The Times of Israel

Earlier this month, the novelist Elif Shafak wrote of Feili’s persecution while examining the threat Islamic fundamentalism poses to artists.

The Iranian poet Payam Feili has been censored and ostracised for being dissident and gay. In an interview with Index on Censorship he said: “I’ve got used to life being full of tension, horror, disruption and crisis.” The Algerian novelist Kamel Daoud, the writer of the highly-acclaimed The Meursault Investigation, had a fatwa issued against him by a Salafist imam. The imam and his followers claimed the writer deserved to be murdered as he was an “atheist infidel”. The Algerian film-maker Lyès Salem was the target of a fatwa issued by a TV preacher who accused him of making a “satanic film”.

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