Jailed Iranian activist Narges Mohammadi wins Nobel Peace Prize for fight against oppression of women

Jailed Iranian human rights activist Narges Mohammadi won the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday for her fight against women’s oppression in Iran and advocating for human rights.

Berit Reiss-Andersen, head of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, said in a news conference in Oslo that “her brave struggle has come with tremendous personal cost.”

“All together the regime has arrested her 13 times, convicted her five times and sentenced her to a total of 31 years in prison and 154 lashes,” she said

One of Iran’s most prominent human rights activists, Mohammadi worked as an engineer and a columnist for various newspapers following her studies.

The Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to imprisoned Iranian women's rights campaigner Narges Mohammadi on Oct. 6, 2023.
Narges Mohammadi.AFP – Getty Images

She was first arrested in 2011 for assisting jailed activists and their families. After her release she spent two years on bail then began campaigning against Iran’s death penalty laws, for which was re-arrested in 2015.

“Upon her return to prison, she began opposing the regime’s systematic use of torture and sexualized violence against political prisons and especially women,” Reiss-Andersen said.

Despite being behind bars, Mohammadi rallied immense support for the women-led protests against the government that rocked Iran last year.

Last year the prize was jointly awarded to human rights campaigners in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus.

The prize is decided by a committee elected by the Norwegian Parliament. Past winners include Martin Luther King Jr., Malala Yousafzai and Nelson Mandela.

The prize, founded in 1901 by inventor and philanthropist Alfred Nobel, a Swedish inventor and entrepreneur, honors the nominee that “shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses.”

The winner gets 11 million Swedish crowns ($1 million).

Earlier this week, this year’s Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded to three scientists “for experimental methods that generate attosecond pulses of light for the study of electron dynamics in matter.”

The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded to Katalin Karikó and Drew Weissman for their discoveries that led to the development of mRNA vaccines.

The Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded to three scientists “for the discovery and synthesis of quantum dots.”

Jon Fosse won the Nobel in Literature “for his innovative plays and prose which give voice to the unsayable.”

This is a developing story, check back here for updates soon.

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