The Norwegian Nobel Institute in Oslo has named Narges Mohammadi, a dedicated Iranian rights advocate, the recipient of the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize for 2023.
The Norwegian Nobel Committee lauded Mohammadi “for her relentless efforts against women’s oppression in Iran and her undying commitment to championing human rights and universal freedom.”
Mohammadi heralded as one of Iran’s most passionate human rights activists, has tirelessly campaigned for women’s emancipation and the cessation of the death penalty. During her announcement, Berit Reiss-Andersen, the chair of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, accentuated Mohammadi’s valiance by echoing the Farsi slogans “woman, life, freedom.” These phrases symbolize the peaceful protests against Iranian governmental policies. Paying homage to Mohammadi’s valour, Reiss-Andersen recognized her as a genuine “freedom fighter.”
Reiss-Andersen highlighted her dedication: “Mohammadi consistently champions the freedom of expression, the right to self-determination, and contests regulations mandating women to remain inconspicuous and extensively clothe themselves.”
However, her undeterred activism has come at personal costs. The civil rights entity Front Line Defenders revealed that Mohammadi has endured prolonged incarcerations, currently serving a cumulative 12-year sentence in Tehran’s Evin Prison for charges including “propaganda against the state.”
Additionally, she is the deputy chief of the Defenders of Human Rights Center, an NGO steered by Shirin Ebadi, who received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2003.
A Historic Achievement Amidst a Competitive Pool
Mohammadi has become the 19th female laureate in the Nobel Peace Prize’s 122-year legacy and is the first since the 2021 recognition of Maria Ressa from the Philippines, who shared the honour with Russia’s Dmitry Muratov.
The 2023 accolade witnessed a near-record nomination pool with 351 candidates – 259 individuals and 92 organizations. This robust competition marks the eighth year, with over 300 nominees vying for the honour.
Scheduled for December 10, commemorating the passing of the award’s founder, Swedish tycoon Alfred Nobel, the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony will bestow upon Mohammadi a monetary prize of 11 million Swedish crowns, approximately $1 million.