The renowned Nobel Peace Prize has been given to Iranian feminist Narges Mohammadi for her unrelenting fight against women’s suffrage.
The head of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, Berit Reiss-Andersen, admitted that Narges Mohammadi’s effort had cost him a “tremendous personal cost.”
She praised Ms. Mohammadi for persevering in her quest to defend women’s rights and advance human rights and freedom for all while incarcerated for ten years in Tehran’s notorious Evin prison in Iran.
The award was criticized by Iran’s foreign ministry as being “biased” and being the result of “the interventionist and anti-Iran policies of some European countries.” The Nobel Peace Prize’s selection, however, received widespread plaudits from the international community.
Narges Mohammadi’s “unshakeable courage” was praised by US Vice President Joe Biden, who also urged the Iranian government to free her. Emmanuel Macron, the president of France, praised her as a “freedom fighter.”
The Nobel Peace Prize was given to Ms. Mohammadi for her relentless efforts to fight the tyranny of women in Iran as well as her commitment to human rights and freedom, according to Berit Reiss-Andersen at the award ceremony in Oslo. She echoed the rallying cry of the most recent large-scale Iranian protests as she opened her speech with the words “woman, life, freedom.”
In her remarks, the chairwoman acknowledged the hundreds of thousands of Iranians who had demonstrated against the “theocratic regime’s policies of discrimination and oppression targeting women” throughout the previous year, a movement led by Narges Mohammadi.
According to the United Nations, the Nobel committee’s choice to award Narges Mohammadi sends a strong message of opposition to the Iranian government and is a monument to the bravery and tenacity of Iranian women.
Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a British-Iranian national who was detained alongside Ms. Mohammadi until her release in March 2022, expressed her happiness for her friend and called her a role model and a supporter of women’s rights in Iran.
Ali Rahmani, Narges Mohammadi’s son, said the honor belonged to the Iranian people and credited it to the country’s continuous demonstrations. Ali Rahmani hasn’t seen his mother in eight years.
Ms. Mohammadi has a long history of advocacy, which has cost her dearly. She has had 13 arrests, five convictions, and a cumulative term of 31 years in prison.
She was also given a 154-lash penalty, though it is unknown if this punishment has been carried out.
In a distressing letter to the media last December, she described the sexual and physical violence Iranian women jailed during demonstrations had endured. In September 2022, Mahsa Amini, 22, tragically died in police custody, setting off these protests.
Despite the savage suppression of the protests by the Iranian government, Narges Mohammadi’s dedication to upholding human rights and empowering women in Iran is unshakeable. She is the Defenders of Human Rights Center’s assistant director.
She addressed the media in 2020 to discuss her commitment to furthering women’s rights:
In my opinion, supporting human rights efforts and actions aimed at achieving freedom and justice anywhere in the world, whether in Iran or any other country, is very important and very heartwarming.
Narges Mohammadi was recognized as one of the BBC’s 100 Women last year, a renowned list honoring remarkable and significant women from all over the world.