The Liberating Power of Storytelling

Maziar Bahari 


2018 OFF in Oslo
Maziar Bahari is an Iranian-Canadian journalist, filmmaker, and activist. Bahari uses storytelling to educate others about their rights, and the Iranian government saw this as a threat. After Bahari was imprisoned by the regime in 2009 for his work, he decided to found IranWire and Journalism Is Not a Crime upon his release to expose the censored stories of citizens and incarcerated journalists to the public. In his talk at the 2018 Oslo Freedom Forum, Bahari uses art and his experiences in prison to raise awareness and speak out against the Iranian government. 

About the Speaker

Maziar Bahari



Iranian-Canadian journalist, filmmaker, and former prisoner of conscience

Maziar Bahari is an Iranian-Canadian journalist, filmmaker, and activist. While reporting on the 2009 Iranian election protests for Newsweek, Bahari was accused of sedition and espionage and imprisoned by the Iranian government for his journalism. He was held for four months before his release, and he continues to be an outspoken advocate for free speech and human rights. Bahari wrote a best-selling memoir about his experience, “Then They Came for Me,” which was adapted into the film “Rosewater” by Jon Stewart. Bahari is the founder of IranWire, a platform for Iranian citizen journalists, as well as Journalism Is Not a Crime, which documents human rights abuses committed against journalists and provides aid to those who are persecuted. Bahari is also the founder of Education Is Not a Crime, a campaign to draw attention to the government’s denial of the rights of the Baha’is, an Iranian religious minority. Bahari has been internationally recognized for his work in filmmaking, journalism, and human rights advocacy.

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