In a remarkable and poignant recognition of unwavering commitment to human rights, Narges Mohammadi, an Iranian activist, has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Her tireless efforts in championing the rights of women in Iran and promoting freedom and human rights for all have earned her this prestigious honor.
Narges Mohammadi’s story is one of sacrifice and resilience. At the age of eight, she and her twin sister, Kiana, said goodbye to their mother, who, unbeknownst to them, would become an iconic figure in the fight for human rights in Iran. Their mother’s name, Narges Mohammadi, is now synonymous with this ongoing struggle.
For much of the past two decades, Narges Mohammadi has been behind bars, repeatedly sentenced for being a fearless advocate for those who have no voice. Her unyielding campaign against practices such as the death penalty and solitary confinement has earned her the admiration of many, even in the face of immense personal sacrifice.
Currently serving a sentence of 10 years and 9 months on charges of actions against national security and propaganda against the state, Narges Mohammadi remains steadfast. She has also been sentenced to a harrowing punishment of 154 lashes, a sentence that rights groups believe has not yet been inflicted upon her. Additionally, she faces travel bans and other restrictions.
Nobel Peace Prize
Despite the darkness of the notorious Evin Prison in Tehran, Narges Mohammadi’s voice has not been silenced. In a gripping audio recording from inside Evin, shared Nobel Peace Prize announcement, Mohammadi can be heard leading chants of “woman, life, freedom.” This rallying cry was born from the tragic death of 22-year-old Mahsa Jhina Amini, who died in the custody of Iran’s morality police due to allegations of improper headscarf usage.
The recording also features a brief automated message: “This is a phone call from Evin Prison.” Amidst these challenging circumstances, the women in the prison sing a Farsi version of “Bella Ciao,” the 19th-century Italian folk song that has become a symbol of resistance. It has been adopted by Iran’s freedom movement as they persist in their quest for justice and equality.
In written responses to questions submitted through intermediaries, Mohammadi shared, “This period was and still is the era of greatest protest in this prison.” Her courage and that of others continue to inspire hope for change both within and outside the prison walls.
While Mohammadi’s unwavering dedication to human rights has earned her international recognition, the struggle for justice in Iran persists. Iranian authorities have recently cracked down on protests and resumed their patrols to enforce headscarf regulations. Reports have emerged of a teenage girl’s assault by morality police for not wearing a headscarf in a Tehran metro station, leading to her hospitalization with serious injuries.
As Narges Mohammadi receives the Nobel Peace Prize, her story serves as a powerful reminder of the enduring human spirit and the importance of standing up for the rights and dignity of all individuals, even in the face of adversity.