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Nobel Peace Prize for imprisoned Iranian woman activist; UN calls on Teheran to release all human rights defenders

Saturday, October 7th 2023 - 07:00 UTC
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Narges kept up her activism despite numerous arrests by Iranian authorities and remained a light for the nationwide protests sparked by the death of Mahsa Amini l Narges kept up her activism despite numerous arrests by Iranian authorities and remained a light for the nationwide protests sparked by the death of Mahsa Amini l

Imprisoned Iranian activist Narges Mohammadi has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in recognition of her tireless campaign for women's rights and against the death penalty. United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres hailed Ms Narges and the Peace Prize as a tribute to all those women who are fighting for their rights at the risk of their freedom, health and lives.

Narges kept up her activism despite numerous arrests by Iranian authorities and remained a leading light for the nationwide protests sparked by the death of Mahsa Amini last year.

Mohammadi's family called it a “historic and profound moment for Iran's fight for freedom,” while politicians around the world heaped praise on Mohammadi for the courage she has shown.

Mohammadi was quoted by The New York Times as saying she would never stop striving for democracy and equality, even if that meant staying in prison.

It is a fight her teenage daughter said is worth fighting by all Iranian women. “Keep fighting for a better future,” she said.

Iran however criticized the Nobel committee for awarding the Peace Prize to the jailed rights campaigner Narges Mohammadi, calling it biased and political.

“We note that the Nobel Peace Committee awarded the Peace Prize to a person who was convicted of repeated violations of laws and criminal acts,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani said in a statement. “We condemn this biased and political move.”

“Awarding the Nobel Peace Prize to a person who has been convicted under the laws of a country and is currently serving a prison sentence can only be called politicizing the concept of human rights and acting in a meddling manner,” IRNA said in a report about the prize.

Meantime the United Nations called on Tehran to free Narges Mohammadi and all human rights defenders jailed by the Islamic Republic's leaders.

“The women of Iran have been an inspiration for the world,” the UN human rights office told news agencies.

“Their courage and determination in the face of reprisals, intimidation, violence and detention has been remarkable. They have been harassed for what they wear and what they do not wear, and face increasingly stringent legal, social and economic measures against them.

”Narges Mohammadi's case is emblematic of the huge risks that women take to advocate for the rights of all Iranians. We call for her release and the release of all human rights defenders jailed in Iran,” the statement said.

Mohammadi, 51, a journalist and activist, has spent much of the past two decades in and out of prison for her campaign against the mandatory hijab for women and the death penalty.

Categories: Politics, International.

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