The 2023 Nobel Peace Prize was on Friday awarded to jailed human rights campaigner Narges Mohammadi “for her fight against the oppression of women in Iran and her fight to promote human rights and freedom for all”.
In its announcement, the Norwegian Nobel Committee in Oslo said that this year’s peace prize “also recognises the hundreds of thousands of people who, in the preceding year, have demonstrated against Iran’s theocratic regime’s policies of discrimination and oppression targeting women”.
“The motto adopted by the demonstrators – ‘Woman – Life – Freedom’ – suitably expresses the dedication and work of Narges Mohammadi,” it added.
The 51-year-old Mohammadi, who is currently in prison and is also the deputy head of the Defenders of Human Rights Center founded by fellow Nobel laureate Shirin Ebadi, has been arrested 13 times previously, convicted five times and sentenced to a total of 31 years in prison and 154 lashes.
Her activism against the death penalty led to her re-arrest in 2015, and to a sentence of additional years behind walls.
Last year’s wave of protests In Iran became known to the political prisoners held inside the notorious Evin prison in Tehran.
“From captivity, Mohammadi has helped to ensure that the protests have not ebbed out,” the Norwegian Nobel Committee said.
In September 2022, Mahsa Jina Amini was killed in Iranian morality police’s custody, triggering political demonstrations against Iran’s regime.
The names of this year’s nominees were kept a secret, but more than 350 people and groups were said to be in the running.
Last year, the prize was jointly conferred to Russian human rights group Memorial, Ukraine’s Center for Civil Liberties and jailed Belarusian rights advocate Ales Bialiatski for the “promotion of peace” on the backdrop of Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine.
Since its inception in 1901, the Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to 110 individuals and 30 organisations.
Past winners include Afghan campaigner Malala Yousafzai and Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.
Some organisations have been given the award several times.
The International Committee of the Red Cross has won it three times, while the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees was conferred twice.