Iranian human rights activist Narges Mohammadi

Iranian human rights activist Narges Mohammadi, pictured in 2007 at the Defenders of Human Rights Center in Tehran, has been awarded the 2023 Nobel Peace Prize.

(Photo: Behrouz Mehri/AFP via Getty Images)

Narges Mohammadi: Nobel Peace Prize Awarded to Champion of Women’s Rights Jailed in Iran

Mohammadi, said the prize committee, "fights for women against systematic discrimination and oppression."

The Nobel Peace Prize Committee on Friday awarded its prestigious prize this year to Narges Mohammadi, the human rights defender currently imprisoned in her home country of Iran.

Mohammadi deserved the recognition for "her fight against the oppression of women in Iran and her fight to promote human rights and freedom for all," said Nobel Peace Prize Committee chair Berit Reiss-Andersen during the announcement ceremony in Oslo.

"Her brave struggle has come with tremendous personal costs," Reiss-Andersen continued. "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. Ms Mohammadi is still in prison as I speak."

"The global support and recognition of my human rights advocacy makes me more resolved, more responsible, more passionate and more hopeful." —Narges Mohammadi, 2023 Nobel Peace Prize winner

Mohammadi—a journalist, author, educator, and vice-director of the Defenders of Human Rights Center (DHRC) based in Tehran—has been an outspoken defender and advocate of feminist rights for decades, demanding the theocratic government in Tehran evolve on human rights and its oppression of women and girls.

In a statement to the New York Times, Mohammadi responded to the award by saying: "The global support and recognition of my human rights advocacy makes me more resolved, more responsible, more passionate and more hopeful. I also hope this recognition makes Iranians protesting for change stronger and more organized. Victory is near."

"Mohammadi is a woman, a human rights advocate, and a freedom fighter," said Reiss-Andersen. "In awarding her this year's Nobel Peace Prize, the Norwegian Nobel Committee wishes to honour her courageous fight for human rights, freedom, and democracy in Iran."

She said the Committee "also recognizes the hundreds of thousands of people who, in the preceding year, have demonstrated against the theocratic regime’s policies of discrimination and oppression targeting women. Only by embracing equal rights for all can the world achieve the fraternity between nations that Alfred Nobel sought to promote."

In response to the news, Liz Throssell, a spokesperson for the United Nations human rights office, said, "I think what is absolutely clear is that the women of Iran have been a source of inspiration for the world. We’ve seen their courage and determination in the face of reprisals, intimidation, violence, and detention."

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