Narges Mohammadi, an Iranian women’s rights advocate serving 12 years in jail, won the 2023 Nobel Peace Prize on Friday. One of Iran’s leading human rights activists, Mohammadi has campaigned for women’s rights and the abolition of the death penalty.
Hailing Mohammadi as a “freedom fighter”, the head of the Norwegian Nobel Committee started her speech by saying, in Farsi, the words for “woman, life, freedom” – one of the slogans of the peaceful protests against the Iranian government.
“The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided to award the 2023 Nobel Peace Prize to Narges Mohammadi for her fight against the oppression of women in Iran and her fight to promote human rights and freedom for all,” Berit Reiss-Andersen said in the citation.
Mohammadi is currently serving multiple sentences in Tehran’s Evin Prison amounting to about 12 years imprisonment, according to the Front Line Defenders rights organisation, one of the many periods she has been detained behind bars. Charges include spreading propaganda against the state.
She is the deputy head of the Defenders of Human Rights Center, a non-governmental organisation led by Shirin Ebadi, the 2003 Nobel Peace Prize laureate.
Mohammadi is the 19th woman to win the 122-year-old prize and the first one since Maria Ressa of the Philippines won the award in 2021 jointly with Russia’s Dmitry Muratov.
The Nobel Peace Prize, worth 11 million Swedish crowns, or around $1 million, will be presented in Oslo on Dec. 10, the anniversary of the death of Swedish industrialist Alfred Nobel, who founded the awards in his 1895 will.