A prestigious ceremony with one major absentee: the Nobel Peace Prize will be awarded on Sunday in Oslo to Iranian activist Narges Mohammadi who, imprisoned in her country, will be represented by her children.
A fierce opponent of the compulsory wearing of the hijab for women and the death penalty in Iran, Ms. Mohammadi, arrested and convicted many times in recent decades, has been detained since 2021 in Evin prison in Tehran.
Crowned by the Nobel committee in October for “her fight against the oppression of women in Iran and her fight for the promotion of human rights and freedom for all”, she will therefore be absent from the prize ceremony at 1:00 p.m. (12:00 p.m. GMT) at Oslo City Hall.
In her place, her 17-year-old twins, Ali and Kiana, will be presented with the award on her behalf and will read a speech that she managed to transmit from prison.
As for the winner, she will observe at the same time, according to her family, a hunger strike in solidarity with the Bahai community, the largest religious minority in Iran, which says it is the victim of discrimination in many parts of society.
In fragile health, the 51-year-old activist had already stopped eating for several days in early November to obtain the right to be transferred to hospital without covering her head.
She is one of the main faces of the “Women, Life, Freedom” uprising in Iran.
The movement, which saw women remove the veil, cut their hair and demonstrate in the streets, was sparked by the death last year of a 22-year-old Iranian Kurd, Mahsa Amini, after her arrest in Tehran for non-compliance with the strict Islamic dress code.
See her alive again?
Exiled in France since 2015, Kiana and her brother Ali have not seen their mother for almost nine years and say they do not know if they will see her alive again. He says he believes it, she doesn’t.
“The cause + Women, Life, Liberty +, freedom in general and democracy are worth sacrificing for them and giving your life for them because in the end these three things have no meaning. price,” said Kiana during the press conference.
“As for seeing her alive again one day, personally, I’m quite pessimistic,” she confided. “Maybe I will see her in 30 or 40 years but otherwise, I don’t think I will ever see her again but that doesn’t matter because my mother will always be with me in my heart and with my family.”
Ali, on the contrary, said he was “very, very optimistic” even if this will probably not happen “in two, five or ten years”.
The protest in Iran has been severely repressed. According to the NGO Iran Human Rights (IHR), 551 demonstrators, including dozens of women and children, were killed by security forces, and thousands more arrested.
According to their lawyer in France, Mahsa Amini’s parents and brother were prevented from leaving Iranian territory to receive, on Sunday during a parallel ceremony in France, the Sakharov Prize awarded to the young woman posthumously.
As for Narges Mohammadi, in the more than century-old history of the Nobel Peace Prize, she is the fifth laureate to receive the prize while in detention after the German Carl von Ossietzky, the Burmese Aung San Suu Kyi, the Chinese Liu Xiaobo and the Belarusian Ales Beliatski.
The Nobel Prizes in other disciplines (literature, chemistry, medicine, physics, economics) must also be awarded during the day in Stockholm.