Nobel Peace Prize
Nobel Peace Prize for Iranian Women’s Rights Activist

Narges Mohammadi
© picture alliance / abaca | SalamPix/ABACA

The prize goes to Narges Mohammadi, a women's rights activist who belongs to the circle around former Nobel Prize winner Shirin Ebadin. However, it should be seen as representative of the numerous women's rights activists in Iran.

At the right time

September 16 marked the anniversary of the murder of the young Iranian woman Mahsa Amini. A video of a 16-year-old schoolgirl being beaten unconscious as she is pulled out of a subway car in Tehran has just gone viral. Her name is Armita Garavand. She is in a coma. It’s those images and the individual fate behind them that reach the outside world. The majority do not get to us. The theocratic regime in Iran despises the civil and human rights of its people. It despises women.

Torturers and executioners of women

According to Article 638 of the Iranian penal code, women face up to two months in prison if they don’t wear the compulsory hjiab. A woman faces up to 74 lashes if she commits a so-called "sinful act", which the regime defines as flirting between men and women outside marriage. The women are the ones who are prosecuted. According to reports by women's rights activists, such as Narges Mohammadi, and human rights NGOs, the brutality has intensified in recent years. Women are being tortured, they disappear, and they are murdered. Women are also publicly executed. At least 16 of them were executed in 2022. (Source: Iran Human Rights)

Transnational repression

We must finally stop blindly adopting the narratives of dictatorships and use their terms based on what we consider lawful. A conviction in Iran cannot be compared to a fair trial under the rule of law. It is unjust. Narges Mohammadi was not convicted, she was arbitrarily locked up. The morality police is not a police force in the democratic sense, but an internal terror unit in a dictatorship. Like other dictatorships, Iran exerts transnational repression on activists in exile. Pro-regime supporters in Germany are also trying to whitewash the inhumane truth of those in power and sneak into ministries and authorities. We must understand and become aware of this danger and threat in Germany, too.

Our duty

The Norwegian Nobel Committee justifies honouring Norges Mohammadi with her inexhaustible courage and perseverance. Even out of prison, she never stops campaigning for political prisoners. In her article in the New York Times, she wrote: "The more of us they lock up, the stronger we become." Women and women's rights activists need our solidarity and political support worldwide, not just in Iran. A global Women for Future movement that extends beyond Iran, to Afghanistan and many other countries, urgently needs to be set in motion.