Nobel Peace Prize Winner Criticizes Iran's Government From Prison With Letter She Secretly Released
Imprisoned Nobel Peace Prize winner Narges Mohammadi has denounced the "tyrannical and religiously anti-women" government in Iran in an acceptance speech read by her children in the Norwegian capital.
Mohammadi, 51, was awarded the 2023 Nobel Peace Prize in October for her decades of activism, despite multiple arrests by Iranian authorities and years behind bars. She has been held in a cell since 2021 in Tehran's Evin prison.
Iran's Mohammad criticizes 'tyrannical' regime in Nobel Prize speech from prison. It was actually the children who became her voice.
Ali and Kiana Rahmani accepted the award on behalf of their mother at Oslo City Hall, Norway.
Mohammadi has campaigned against compulsory hijab and the death penalty in Iran.
Her 17-year-old twins Ali and Kiana, both living in exile in France since 2015, accepted the award on her behalf on Sunday, giving a speech she managed to "smuggle" out of her cell.
"I am a Middle Eastern woman and I come from a region which, despite its rich civilization, is now trapped between war, the fires of terrorism and extremism," she said in her message.
"The Iranian people will destroy obstruction and despotism with their persistence."
Mohammadi has been arrested and convicted several times in recent decades, and her twin children have not seen their mother for nearly nine years.
"When it comes to seeing him again, personally, I'm very pessimistic," Kiana, her daughter, told reporters at a news conference on Saturday.
"Maybe I'll see it in 30 or 40 years, but I don't think I'll see it again. But that doesn't matter because my mother will always live in my heart and with my family."
As they received the award on her behalf, the chair where their mother was supposed to sit was there, empty, and a picture of her was in the middle of the hall.
The prize includes a check for 11 million Swedish kronor (about $1 million).
Mohammadi is one of the women who led the "Woman, Life, Freedom" uprising, which carried out months of protests sparked by the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini.
Amini, an Iranian Kurdish woman, died on September 16, 2022, while being arrested by Iran's religious police for allegedly violating the Islamic Republic's dress code for women.
The movement calls for an end to Iran's imposition of the headscarf on all women and an end to the government led by Muslim clerics in Tehran.