Genre : Society / Around the World
In a momentous announcement, the Nobel Peace Prize for 2022 was awarded to Iranian activist Narges Mohammadi for her relentless fight against the oppression of women in Iran and her unwavering commitment to promoting human rights and freedom for all. The prestigious accolade, announced in Oslo by Berit Reiss-Andersen, the chair of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, commends Mohammadi’s courageous efforts to combat systemic discrimination and oppression faced by women in Iran.
Narges Mohammadi’s remarkable journey as a human rights defender took a tumultuous turn when she was arrested in November, following her attendance at a memorial event commemorating a victim of the violent protests that rocked Iran in 2019. Prior to her imprisonment, Mohammadi held the position of vice president at the banned Defenders of Human Rights Centre in Iran, an organization founded by Iranian Nobel Peace Prize laureate Shirin Ebadi. Mohammadi’s association with Ebadi underscores her dedication to the cause of human rights and freedom in Iran.
Presently, Narges Mohammadi is serving multiple sentences in Tehran’s notorious Evin Prison, amounting to approximately 12 years of incarceration, as reported by the Front Line Defenders rights organization. Among the charges levied against her is the alleged dissemination of propaganda against the state, a common accusation used against activists in Iran.
Mohammadi’s Nobel Peace Prize win marks a significant moment in history, as she becomes the 19th woman to be honored with the prestigious award in its 122-year history. She is the first woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize since Maria Ressa of the Philippines was jointly awarded the prize with Russia’s Dmitry Muratov in 2021.
In the pool of notable contenders for the 2022 Nobel Peace Prize, figures such as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, and UN Secretary General António Guterres were considered. The Nobel Committee had a challenging task with 351 candidates to choose from, consisting of 259 individuals and 92 organizations.
The Nobel Peace Prize is not just an honorary title; it comes with a gold medal, a diploma, and a substantial cash award of 11 million Swedish krona.
This year’s Nobel Peace Prize also recognized the significant contributions of human rights groups from Russia and Ukraine. Memorial and the Center for Civil Liberties, both from Russia, along with Belarusian advocate Ales Bialiatski were honored for their tireless efforts to document war crimes, human rights abuses, and the abuse of power in their respective countries.
The Center for Civil Liberties in Ukraine earned acclaim for its dedication to identifying and documenting Russian war crimes against the Ukrainian civilian population, especially in the wake of the conflict that began in February of the previous year. Their work sheds light on the grim realities faced by innocent civilians during times of conflict and is an invaluable resource for promoting justice and accountability.
Ales Bialiatski, the jailed Belarusian advocate and laureate of the Nobel Peace Prize, has been a stalwart champion of human rights in Belarus for decades. His documentation of human rights abuses dates back to the 1980s, and in 1996, he founded the organization Viasna, also known as Spring, after a referendum that solidified the authoritarian powers of Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko. Bialiatski’s relentless pursuit of justice and accountability in Belarus has made him a symbol of resilience in the face of repression.
In awarding the Nobel Peace Prize to these remarkable individuals and organizations, the Nobel Committee underscores the vital importance of documenting human rights abuses and advocating for justice in a world marked by conflict and oppression.
As the Nobel Peace Prize continues to shine a spotlight on those who strive for peace, justice, and freedom, Narges Mohammadi’s recognition serves as a poignant reminder of the ongoing struggles faced by activists and defenders of human rights in various corners of the globe. Her unwavering commitment to advancing the rights and freedoms of women in Iran and her dedication to the broader cause of human rights make her a beacon of hope and inspiration for all.
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