Narges Mohammadi

Iranian human rights activist (born 1972)

Narges Mohammadi (Persian: نرگس محمدی; born 21 April 1972) is an Iranian human rights activist and the vice president of the Defenders of Human Rights Center. In May 2016, she was imprisoned in Tehran for establishing and running "a human rights movement that campaigns for the abolition of the death penalty"; she was released in 2020. While again in prison, she was awarded the 2023 Nobel Peace Prize "for her fight against the oppression of women in Iran and her fight to promote human rights and freedom for all".

Killing, imprisoning or denying the rights of a human being is not injustice against one person; it enchains and kills a whole society.

Quotes edit

  • The execution of people like Navid Afkari and Ruhollah Zam in the past year, have been the most ambiguous executions in Iran. Issuing the death penalty for Ahmadreza Djalali is one of the most erroneous sentences and the reasons for the issuance of these death sentences need to be carefully examined. These people have been sentenced to death after being held in solitary confinement and subjected to horrific psychological and mental torture, that is why I do not consider the judicial process to be fair or just; I see keeping defendants in solitary confinement, forcing them to make untrue and false confessions that are used as the key evidence in issuing these sentences. That’s why I am particularly worried about the recent arrests in Sistan and Baluchistan and Kurdistan, and I hope that anti-death penalty organisations will pay special attention to the detainees because I fear that we will be facing another wave of executions over the coming year.

Letter Accepting 2018 Andrei Sakharov Prize (2018) edit

Written during her imprisonment at the Evin Prison. Transcript online.
  • Contemplating such questions as the dialectical relations between being and becoming has inspired and strengthened my beliefs. You are not hearing here some random ideas of a passionate student or a distressed prisoner, but reflections rooted in the experience of a woman physicist who happens to have also advocated for equal rights and human rights, and who as a result was subjected to threats, deprivation, arrests, continuous prosecutions, and finally sentenced to a total of 23 years of imprisonment, 16 years of which has to be served based on the ruling laws in Iran. The harsh treatment and excessive sentence to which I have been subjected were not due to any underground violent or terrorist activity on my part, but– as admitted by the judges of this very system–because of my insistence on the rights of civil society and of human rights. My case, then, clearly portrays the unjust, brutal and illegal practices of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
  • I am not hopeless nor have I lost my motivation. We cannot stop trying. I still hope and deeply believe that the tireless efforts of our civil society activists will eventually bear fruit. I am awaiting the moment I can rejoin my colleagues in these activities once I am released. The path to democracy in Iran lies not through violence, war, or military action by a foreign government, but through organizing and strengthening civil society institutions. The government knows this only too well. It is fearful of non-governmental civil society organizations precisely because of its undemocratic nature.
  • As a human rights defender, like millions of Iranians, I hate the death penalty; I despise discrimination and injustice against women; I protest against the imprisonment and torture of political and civil rights activists in solitary confinement; and I will not be silent in the face of human rights violations. In order to institutionalize human rights and achieve peace between the people and the state, I shall endure my deprivation of freedom and rights, even though separation from my children is nothing less than death for me. I am a woman and a mother, and with all my feminine and maternal sensibilities, I seek a world free from violence and injustice, even if I have suffered injustice and violence tens of times.
  • Thoughts and dreams don’t die. Belief in freedom and justice does not perish with imprisonment, torture or even death and tyranny do not prevail over freedom, even when they rely on the power of the state. Sitting here in the prison, I am deeply humbled by the honor you have bestowed on me and I will continue my efforts until we achieve peace, tolerance for a plurality of views, and human rights.

Quotes about Mohammadi edit

  • I am so pleased for her. It makes me cry. She did so much for all of us in Evin. Narges is an inspiration and a pillar to the women in the female ward in Evin for her fearless fight against violation of women’s rights, use of solitary confinement and execution in the judicial system in Iran. This award belongs to every single Iranian woman who, one way or another, has been and remain to be a victim of injustice in Iran.
  • The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided to award the Nobel Peace Prize for 2023 to Narges Mohammadi for her fight against the oppression of women in Iran and her fight to promote human rights and freedom for all. Her brave struggle has come with tremendous personal costs. Altogether, the regime has arrested her 13 times, convicted her five times, and sentenced her to a total of 31 years in prison and 154 lashes. … In awarding her this year’s Nobel Peace Prize, the Norwegian Nobel Committee wishes to honour her courageous fight for human rights, freedom, and democracy in Iran. This year’s Peace Prize also recognises the hundreds of thousands of people who, in the preceding year, have demonstrated against the theocratic regime’s policies of discrimination and oppression targeting women. Only by embracing equal rights for all can the world achieve the fraternity between nations that Alfred Nobel sought to promote. The award to Narges Mohammadi follows a long tradition in which the Norwegian Nobel Committee has awarded the Peace Prize to those working to advance social justice, human rights, and democracy. These are important preconditions for lasting peace.

External links edit

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