The Norwegian Nobel Committee has awarded the 2023 Nobel Peace Prize to Iranian activist, journalist and writer Narges Mohammadi for her struggle against the oppression of women in Iran and in favor of human rights and freedom.
The award is also a recognition of the work of the peaceful “Woman, Life, Freedom” movement sparked by the death in 2022 of a young woman, Mahsa Amini, while in police custody. This movement has spread throughout Iran and internationally to demand women’s rights and freedom of expression.
ICIP director Kristian Herbolzheimer considers the award “very timely and well-deserved” because it “places activism at the center, a necessary condition for overthrowing authoritarian regimes.” And he praises the double facet of this year’s Nobel Prize: personal recognition of a grassroots activist who has been fighting since the 1990s, and recognition of the protest movement of all the women and men who are fighting for equality in Iran and around the world. “The awarding of this prize offers moral, political and institutional support for all the people who fight for change. A fundamental recognition for persevering in the face of very complicated situations, which allows them to continue their struggle.” At the same time, the director of ICIP believes that the award can breathe new oxygen into the “Women, Life, Freedom” protest movement.
For the third consecutive year, the Nobel Peace Prize has gone to activists who are in prison. Narges Mohammadi has been arrested thirteen times and is currently incarcerated after having been sentenced to 31 years in prison for her activism.
With this award, the Nobel Committee has sent a clear message that human rights and democracy are necessary conditions for peace.