Jailed Iranian activist Narges Mohammadi wins the Nobel Peace Prize for fighting women’s oppression

Imprisoned Iranian activist Narges Mohammadi won the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday in recognition of her tireless campaigning for women’s rights and democracy and against the death penalty, Associated Press reported.

Mohammadi, 51, has kept up her activism despite numerous arrests by Iranian authorities and spending years behind bars.

“This prize is first and foremost a recognition of the very important work of a whole movement in Iran with its undisputed leader, Nargis Mohammadi,” said Berit Reiss-Andersen, the chair of the Norwegian Nobel Committee who announced the prize in Oslo.

She said the committee hopes the prize “is an encouragement to continue the work in whichever form this movement finds to be fitting.” She also urged Iran to release Mohammadi in time for the prize ceremony on Dec. 10.

For nearly all of Mohammadi’s life, Iran has been governed by a Shiite theocracy headed by the country’s supreme leader. While women hold jobs, academic positions and even government appointments, their lives can be tightly controlled, according to Associated Press.

Laws require all women to at least wear a headscarf, or hijab, to cover their hair as a sign of piety. Iran and neighboring Afghanistan remain the only countries that mandate it.

In a statement to The New York Times, Mohammadi said 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,” she added. “Victory is near.”

Mohammadi has been imprisoned 13 times and convicted five times, according to Reiss-Andersen. In total, she has been sentenced to 31 years in prison. Mohammadi’s most recent incarceration began when she was detained in 2021 after she attended a memorial for a person killed in nationwide protests sparked by an increase in gasoline prices.

She has been held at Tehran’s notorious Evin Prison, whose inmates include those with Western ties and political prisoners. Physical and sexual abuse of women in prisons, something Mohammadi has campaigned against both outside of and behind bars, remains endemic, Associated Press reported.

Mohammadi is the 19th woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize and the second Iranian woman, after human rights activist Shirin Ebadi won the award in 2003.

 

Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

five + five =

Also like this