Iranian Woman Prisoner Awarded Nobel Peace Prize In Message To Mullahs.

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Narges Mohammadi, an imprisoned Iranian women’s rights advocate, has been awarded the 2023 Nobel Peace Prize for her courageous struggle against the oppression of women in Iran and relentless fight for women’s rights and an end to the death penalty.

While behind bars, she was awarded the prestigious prize on Friday for her efforts “to promote human rights and freedom for all”, according to the Norwegian Nobel Committee, the awarding body.

“Her brave struggle has come with tremendous personal costs. Altogether, 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,” Berit Reiss-Andersen, head of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, said in Oslo during the announcement.

Mohammadi, 51, is one of Iran’s leading human rights activists who has campaigned for women’s rights and the abolition of the death penalty.

She is currently serving multiple sentences in Tehran’s notorious Evin prison amounting to about 12 years imprisonment, according to the Front Line Defenders rights organisation, one of the many periods she has been detained behind bars. Charges include spreading propaganda against the state.

Mohammadi is the deputy head of the Defenders of Human Rights Center, a non-governmental organisation led by Shirin Ebadi, the 2003 Nobel Peace Prize laureate.

She told The New York Times after the win she would never stop striving for democracy and equality – even if that meant staying in prison.

“I will continue to fight against the relentless discrimination, tyranny and gender-based oppression by the oppressive religious government until the liberation of women,” the newspaper quoted her as saying in a statement.

“I also hope this recognition makes Iranians protesting for change stronger and more organised. Victory is near.”

“This is a prize that is also focusing on the sacrifices of young people in Iran. It is a way of underlining their sacrifices and the challenges human rights defenders are operating under in Iran,” he said.

Mohammadi is the 19th woman to win the 122-year-old prize.

The Norwegian Nobel Committee picked this year’s winner for the world’s most significant peace prize from 351 candidates, including 259 individuals and 92 organisations.

The committee said  the prize was recognition of the hundreds of thousands of Iranians who have demonstrated over the past year against the “theocratic regime’s policies of discrimination and oppression targeting women” – a movement headed, they said, by the new Nobel prize winner.

Olive Moore, Interim Director at Front Line Defenders, said, “This Nobel Peace Prize is a resounding recognition of Narges Mohammadi and other women human rights defenders who – at great cost to personal liberty – have courageously advocated for Iranian women to enjoy the full range of human rights and freedoms”.

Sources: Al Jazeera, news agencies,  BBC.
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