This year’s Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to Iranian women’s and human rights activist Narges Mohammadi. The news has now faded into the shock news of the attack on Israel, but it remains an important event every year.
Mohammadi is the vice president of the organization Defenders of Human Rights Center (DHRC), which campaigns for the rights of women, religious minorities, political prisoners, for the abolition of the death penalty in Iran and for human rights in general. Mohammadi has been in prison since 2010, with short breaks, because of her resistance to the government and is serving a long prison sentence.
With the award, recognition is not only given to Mohammadi as a person, but also to the thousands of women who protested against the oppressive regime in Iran and were beaten, arrested and even killed for it. Although Iran is currently mainly in the news as a sworn enemy of Israel and as a funder and protector of the terrorist group Hamas which carries out the attacks on Israel, this country is also a cruel and oppressive regime in terms of its domestic politics.
Even inside the prison, Mohammadi is an activist who keeps records of mistreatment of prisoners and who tries to organize strikes, until she was later locked in a single cell. She was also an inspiration for the nationwide protests of women in 2022 after a woman was arrested by the religious police and beaten to death because she did not wear her headscarf according to prescription. Mohammadi’s husband Taghi Rahmani is in exile in Paris, France, and is waging the battle from there. Mohammadi, as is often the case with the winners of the Nobel Peace Prize, cannot receive it herself due to her status as a prisoner.
The awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize is often influenced by news events and is usually awarded to people or organizations that end wars and conflicts. However, it is also awarded to activists for human rights, minorities and even for the environment. There are currently so many areas of conflict that it is difficult to single out one, and other conflicts that were considered to have ended have flared up again. It is good that Iran’s Islamic regime is again exposed by this year’s award to Mohammadi. It is 20 years ago that the prize was last awarded to an Iranian activist, Shirin Ebadi, who is the founder of the DHRC and fights a similar battle to Mohammadi.
The Iranian theocracy has been in existence since 1979 and several uprisings against this rule have been bloodily suppressed, apart from the everyday oppression of women, ethnic and religious minorities and opposition groups. It was one of the braver choices this year to nominate an activist who is in prison, moreover in a powerful and aggressive country, as the winner. Many times the Nobel committee has chosen persons or organizations as winners who are powerful and influential and who also have no shortage of money, such as Barak Obama, Al Gore, the European Union or various sub-organizations of the United Nations.
The announcement of the Nobel Prizes has been taking place since 1901 and takes place every year in October in Stockholm, Sweden and begins with awards for achievements in various natural sciences as well as in literature. The Nobel Peace Prize as a “political prize” is generally considered to be the highlight and the award that attracts the most attention and, unlike the other Nobel prizes, is awarded in the Norwegian capital Oslo. The value of the prize is 10 million Swedish Krona (approximately 860 000 Euro or R17.54 million).