Nobel Peace Prize Awarded to Iran’s Narges Mohammadi

( – On Friday, October 6, Iranian human rights activist Narges Mohammadi was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in acknowledgment of her relentless advocacy in Iran for women’s rights, democracy, and against the death penalty.

Narges Mohammadi, 51, has persisted in her activism despite enduring multiple detentions by Iranian authorities and spending several years incarcerated. She has remained a prominent figure in nationwide protests led by women. These protests initially emerged following the tragic death of a 22-year-old woman in police custody last year and have evolved into one of the most significant challenges to Iran’s theocratic government.

Trained as an engineer, Mohammadi has been arrested 13 times and was formally convicted 5 of those times. Collectively, she has received prison sentences totaling 31 years. Her most recent detention occurred when she was apprehended after attending a memorial for an individual killed during nationwide protests. Iran annually seems to have at least two to three protests per year where multiple fatalities are reported, with those dying usually being those who protest against the regime. Mohammadi has been incarcerated at Tehran’s notorious Evin Prison, which houses individuals with Western affiliations and political prisoners.

Throughout most of Narges Mohammadi’s life, Iran has been under control and governed by their “supreme leader” under an Islamic Theocracy. While women hold various positions, including jobs, academic roles, and government appointments, their lives are subjected to stringent controls. Iranian law mandates that women must wear a headscarf, known as a hijab, to cover their hair. Iran and its neighboring country Afghanistan are the only countries where this is compulsory.

Berit Reiss-Andersen, the chair of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, commenced the announcement on Friday, speaking in Farsi and saying the words “Woman, Life and Freedom”, which is the slogan of the Iranian demonstrations.

Reiss-Andersen stated that the award is in recognition of a whole movement inside of Iran, saying that the leader of it is Narges. She also urged Iran to release Mohammadi in time for the Nobel Prize ceremony scheduled for December 10.

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