Narges Mohammadi: Iranian Jailed Woman Wins Nobel Peace Prize

World 06:18 PM - 2023-10-06
Narges Mohammadi, the Iranian women's rights campaigner, imprisoned by Iran. AFP

Narges Mohammadi, the Iranian women's rights campaigner, imprisoned by Iran.

Iran Women

Imprisoned Iranian human rights activist Narges Mohammadi has won the 2023 Nobel Peace Prize.

Announcing the decision, the Norwegian Nobel Committee said Ms. Mohammadi, 51, was honoured for her fight against the oppression of women in Iran. Her struggle has come at a "tremendous personal cost," committee chairwoman Berit Reiss-Andersen said.

Ms Mohammadi is currently serving a 10-year jail term in Iran's notorious Evin prison in the capital, Tehran.

At Friday's ceremony in Oslo, Ms. Reiss-Andersen said the prestigious award was given to Ms. Mohammadi for "her fight against the oppression of women in Iran and her fight to promote human rights and freedom for all".

She began her address with the words "woman - life - freedom" - a reference to the motto of recent mass protests sweeping Iran.

She went on to describe the prize as recognition of the hundreds of thousands of Iranians who have demonstrated over the past year against the "theocratic regime's policies of discrimination and oppression targeting women" - a movement headed, she said, by the new Nobel prize winner.

Millions of Iranians will be cheering this award along with human rights activists around the world.

The Nobel committee decision also sends a very strong signal of disapproval to the Iranian authorities.

At the ceremony, Ms. Reiss-Andersen also urged Iran to release Ms. Mohammadi from jail so she could attend the prize ceremony in December.

"If the Iranian authorities make the right decision they will release her so she can be present to receive this honour, which is what we primarily hope for."

But it seems highly unlikely that the activist will actually be able to pick up her prize.

The UN said the award highlighted "the courage and determination of the women of Iran and how they are an inspiration to the world".

Speaking to the BBC in 2020, Ms. Mohammadi explained why she was dedicating herself to advancing women's rights in Iran.

"In my opinion, supporting human rights efforts and actions aimed at achieving freedom and justice anywhere in the world, whether in Iran or any other country, is very important and very heart-warming," she said.

She said her focus was on developing an institution that would then guarantee people's rights.

"If all our efforts in Iran, together with all the recognition and support from outside of Iran leads to the creation of a body that would guarantee human rights in any society, including Iran, we can say that we will be able to solve problems relating to human rights," she said.


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