Iranian activist Narges Mohammadi, 2023 Nobel Peace Prize winner

The Iranian activist Narges Mohammadi has been awarded this Friday with the Nobel Peace Prize 2023, as announced by the Norwegian Nobel Committee, which recognizes “her fight against the oppression of women in Iran and her fight to promote human rights and freedom for all.” This succeeds the Ukrainian Center for Civil Liberties, the Belarusian Alex Bialiatski and the Russian organization Memorial, which won the award a year ago.

Mohammadi, whose name was heard strongly in the previous pools of experts and betting houses, is currently imprisoned. “Her brave fight has come at tremendous personal cost. In total, the regime has detained her 13 times, convicted her five times and sentenced her to a total of 31 years in prison and 154 lashes,” said Berit Reiss-Andersen, the president of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, who has He started his announcement with “zan – zendegi – azadi“woman – life – freedom”, motto of the protests that broke out a year ago after the death of the young Kurdish woman Mahsa Amini in police custody and were harshly repressed, with hundreds of deaths and thousands of arrests.

The committee considers that the famous slogan “adequately expresses the dedication and work” of Narges Mohammadi. “Woman: she fights for women against systematic discrimination and oppression. Life: She supports women’s fight for the right to live a full and dignified life. This struggle across Iran has resulted in persecution, imprisonment, torture and even death. Freedom: She fights for freedom of expression and the right to independence, and against rules that force women to remain hidden and cover their bodies. The demands for freedom expressed by the protesters apply not only to women, but to the entire population.”

As the committee explains in its statement, the activist already stood out as a defender of equality and women’s rights in the 1990s, when she was a young Physics student. She later worked as an engineer and columnist in several newspapers and in 2003 she began to collaborate with the Tehran Center for Human Rights Defenders. In 2011, she was arrested for the first time and sentenced to several years in prison “for her efforts to help imprisoned activists and their families.” Two years later, after being released on bail, she became involved in a campaign against the death penalty, which, according to the committee, led to a new arrest in 2015.

“When he returned to prison, he began to oppose the regime’s systematic use of torture and sexual violence against political prisoners, especially women, that is practiced in Iranian prisons,” the statement said. “Last year’s wave of protests reached the ears of political prisoners held in the infamous Evin prison in Tehran. Once again, Mrs. Mohammadi took the lead. From prison she expressed her support for the protesters and organized solidarity actions among her colleagues. “The prison authorities responded by imposing even stricter conditions.”

The Norwegian Nobel Committee says that with this recognition it wants to pay tribute to his “brave struggle” for human rights, freedom and democracy in Iran and “to the hundreds of thousands of people who, last year, demonstrated against the policies of discrimination and oppression of the theocratic regime against women.”

351 applications

The Nobel Peace Prize is the only one of the six awards that is awarded and presented outside of Sweden, in Oslo, at the express wish of the creator of the prizes, the Swedish magnate Alfred Nobel. His will stipulated that it would be granted to the person “who has worked more or better for brotherhood among nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the celebration and promotion of peace congresses.” It is decided by the Norwegian Nobel Committee, an independent five-member body appointed by the Norwegian Parliament.

According to the Norwegian Nobel Committee, this year there were a total of 351 candidates, although it did not reveal their names, as is tradition. According to the will of the Swedish magnate who established the awards that bear his name, candidates for the Peace Award can be nominated by university professors in Law, History and Political Science, parliamentarians, former laureates and members of international tribunals, among others.

In more than 120 years of history, the Nobel Peace Prize has awarded 27 organizations and 110 people. Of them, there were 18 women. With Mohammadi, the number rises to 19.

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