Narges Mohammadi is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize 2023
The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided to award the Nobel Peace Prize for 2023 to Narges Mohammadi for her fight against the oppression of women in Iran and her fight to promote human rights and freedom for all.
"Altogether, the regime has arrested her 13 times, convicted her five times, and sentenced her to a total of 31 years in prison and 154 lashes," Berit Reiss-Andersen, Chair of The Norwegian Nobel Committee, announced, adding:
"Ms Mohammadi is still in prison as I speak."
"Narges Mohammadi is a worthy laureate, principled and indescribably brave, representing something greater than herself," says NUPI research professor and Iran expert Kjetil Selvik.
"For decades, she has defended the rights of the Iranian people, and women in particular, at a high personal cost to her health and safety."
Selvik explains that the award honours the movement that captured the world's attention a year ago when hundreds of thousands of Iranians protested against the government's brutality and the oppression of women under the slogan 'woman, life, freedom.'
The protests were triggered by the death of the young Kurdish woman Mahsa Jina Amini while in the custody of the Iranian morality police.
"This year's Nobel Peace Prize will help Iranian democracy and human rights activists to keep the flame alive," says the NUPI researcher.
Who is Narges Mohammadi?
"Narges Mohammadi is a journalist, human rights activist, and vice president of the Defenders of Human Rights Center, founded by former Nobel Peace Prize laureate Shirin Ebadi," Selvik explains.
"She has been in and out of prisons but has never stopped advocating for her cause."
Mohammadi wrote a letter from prison in December 2022, during the 'woman, life, freedom' protests, which was smuggled out and published.
In the letter, she detailed physical and sexual abuses against female prisoners and concluded that "bravery, courage, endurance, and struggle will be effective and will achieve results if accompanied by the attention of media and institutions that support human rights, especially in the current situation."
What does the award mean for human rights activists in Iran?
"Mohammadi has defended vulnerable individuals and groups, mobilized against discriminatory laws and abuse of power, at the expense of her own safety," Selvik says.
"In doing so, she has contributed to maintaining the Iranian people's hope and resistance through decades when the regime has moved in an increasingly oppressive direction. The Nobel Peace Prize strengthens her reputation as a leader of the democracy and human rights movement in Iran. It is a special encouragement to all those, both inside and outside Iran, who are fighting to improve the status of women."