Iranian activist awarded Nobel Peace Prize

Narges Mohammadi remains imprisoned despite international pressure

Berit Reiss-Andersen Narges Mohammadi

Photo: Terje Pedersen / NTB
Berit Reiss-Andersen, head of the Nobel Committee, poses with a picture of Narges Mohammadi, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize for 2023.

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“Narges Mohammadi has been imprisoned 13 times and convicted five times. In total, she has been sentenced to 31 years in prison and 154 lashes,” said Berit Reiss-Andersen, head of the Nobel Committee, in her announcement of the Nobel Peace Prize on Oct. 6.

“Mohammadi is still in prison as I speak,” she continued.

After the announcement came demands from the United Nations, several countries, and international organizations: Mohammadi must be released.

Mohammadi herself made a statement from prison in Iran, via The New York Times. She promises to stay in her home country and continue her work, even if it means spending the rest of her life in prison.

“I will never stop striving for democracy, freedom, and equality,” she said in the statement on Oct. 6.

“The Nobel Peace Prize will make me more resilient, determined, hopeful, and enthusiastic,” she added.

Mohammadi, 51, is vice president of the organization Defenders of Human Rights (DHRC), which is led by former peace prize winner Shirin Ebadi. She is described as a tough activist.

Mohammadi has been imprisoned since Nov. 16, 2021. At the time, her nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize was used as an argument that she worked for hostile interests.

Her husband, Taghi Rahmani, says that the peace prize will strengthen the movement. He is a journalist and activist.

“The Nobel Prize will give courage to Narges’ fight for human rights, but even more importantly, this is a a prize for women, life, and the freedom movement,” he said in an interview with Reuters.

The Nobel Peace Prize winner has been active behind bars and in September wrote a column in The New York Times.

“What the authorities may not understand is that the more they imprison us, the stronger we become,” Mohammadi wrote.

She then accused Iran of pursuing a policy of violence against women.

“But they will not be able to scare or hold them back. Women do not give up,” wrote the peace prize winner.

This article originally appeared in the November 2023 issue of The Norwegian American.

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NTB (Norsk Telegrambyrå), the Norwegian News Agency, is a press agency and wire service that serves most of the largest Norwegian media outlets. The agency is located in Oslo and has bureaus in Brussels, Belgium, and Tromsø in northern Norway