Thu. Feb 29th, 2024

The Nobel Peace Prize awarded in his absence à Narges Mohammadi

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Iranian activist Narges Mohammadi, imprisoned in her country, will be represented by her children at the ceremony of the Nobel Peace Prize. (Archive photo)

Agence France-Presse

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A prestigious ceremony with great absent: 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 in Tehran's Evin prison since 2021.

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 award ceremony at 1 p.m. local time 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 she managed to transmit from his prison.

As for the winner, at the same time, according to her family, she will observe 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.

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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 the hospital without covering her head.

< p class="StyledBodyHtmlParagraph-sc-48221190-4 hnvfyV">She is one of the main faces of the Woman, Life, Freedom uprising in Iran.

The movement, which saw women drop the veil, cut their hair and protest in the streets, was sparked by the death last year of a 22-year-old Iranian Kurd, Mahsa Amini, after his arrest in Tehran for non-compliance with the strict Islamic dress code.

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Iran has been rocked by street violence since the death of Mahsa Amini, who was arrested for wearing the veil “inappropriately”, according to the country's authorities. (Archive photo)

Exiled in France since 2015, Kiana and her brother Ali have not seen their mother for almost nine years and say they don't know if they will see her alive again. She says she believes it, she doesn't.

The cause “Women, Life, Liberty”, freedom in general and democracy are worth sacrificing for them and giving one's life for them because in the end these three Things are priceless, said Kiana during the press conference.

As for seeing her alive again one day, personally, I'm quite pessimistic. Maybe I'll see her in 30 or 40 years, but otherwise I don't think I'll ever see her again. But it doesn't matter, because my mother will always be with me in my heart and with my family.

A quote from Kiana, daughter of Narges Mohammadi

Ali, on the contrary, said he was very, very optimistic even if this will probably not happen in two, five or ten years.

Protest in Iran has been severely repressed. According to the NGO Iran Human Rights, 551 protesters, including dozens of women and children, were killed by security forces, and thousands more arrested.

< source srcset="https://images.radio-canada.ca/q_auto,w_700/v1/ici-info/16x9/manifestation-iran-teheran-condamnations.jpg" media="(min-width: 0px) and ( max-width: 1023px)">Open in full screen mode

Several hundred demonstrators have been killed in Iran since the start of the wave of protests. (Archive photo)

According to their lawyer in France, Mahsa Amini's parents and brother were prevented from leaving Iranian territory to receive, Sunday during a parallel ceremony in France, the Sakharov Prize was awarded to the young woman posthumously.

As for Narges Mohammadi, she is , in the more than century-old history of the Nobel Peace Prize, 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.

Nobels in other disciplines (literature, chemistry, medicine, physics, economics) must also be awarded during the day in Stockholm.

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