Narges Mohammadi’s children receive Nobel Peace Prize on her behalf

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Leader of the Nobel Committee Berit Reiss-Andersen presents the Nobel Peace Prize for 2023 to Ali, right, and Kiana Rahmani, for their mother, imprisoned Iranian activist Narges Mohammadi, in Oslo City Hall, Oslo, Norway, Sunday, Dec. 10( AP)

HELSINKI, Dec 10, (AP): The children of imprisoned Iranian activist Narges Mohammadi have accepted this year’s Nobel Peace Prize on her behalf in a ceremony Sunday in the Norwegian capital. Mohammadi is renowned for campaigning for women’s rights and democracy in her country, as well as fighting against the death penalty.
Ali and Kiana Rahmani, Mohammadi’s twin 17-year-old children who live in exile in Paris with their father, were given the prestigious award at Oslo City Hall, after which they gave the Nobel Peace Prize lecture in their mother’s name.
Mohammadi, 51, was awarded the 2023 Nobel Peace Prize in October for her decades of activism despite numerous arrests by Iranian authorities and spending years behind bars. She is currently detained in a prison in Tehran.
In the presence of Norway’s King Harald and Queen Sonja and other dignitaries, Berit Reiss-Andersen, chairwoman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, cited Mohammadi’s “life-long struggle in support of human rights and strong civil society.”
“No punishment has stopped her,” Reiss-Andersen said. “When everything has been denied her, she still mobilizes the willpower and courage to make a statement. This year’s (Nobel) Peace Prize recognizes the brave women in Iran and around the world who fight for basic human rights and for an end to the discrimination and segregation of women.”
As she handed the prize to Ali and Kiana Rahmani at the packed Oslo City Hall – decorated with blue orchids – an empty chair and a large photograph of their mother stood at the center of the stage.
“She (Mohammadi) has asked us to use this particular photograph, which expresses how she wants to lead her life, looking happy in colorful garments, exposing her hair and with a steady gaze towards us,” Reiss-Andersen said.
In their speeches, Mohammadi’s children both expressed regret that their mother wasn’t allowed to be present in Oslo.
“She should have been here herself, but she was prevented by the executioners. I lend my voice to her, and to all the girls and women of Iran whom nothing can silence,” Kiana Rahmani said in Farsi at the beginning of her speech held in French.
Her brother noted that their mother’s “body is behind bars but her pen and thoughts have burst through the walls and reached us.”
“She and the Iranian people have never been more oppressed than now. But never has their voice resonated so strongly in the world. Let us continue to spread the reverberation so that Narges Mohammadi and the Iranian people will one day be able to break their chains,” he said.
At a news conference in Oslo on Saturday, Kiana Rahmani read out a message from her mother in which she praised the role international media played in “conveying the voice of dissenters, protesters, and human rights defenders to the world.”
“Iranian society needs global support and you, journalists and media professionals are our greatest and most important allies in the difficult struggle against the destructive tyranny of the Islamic Republic government. I sincerely thank you for your efforts, for all you’ve done for us,” Mohammadi said.
Kiana Rahmani said she held little hope of seeing her mother again.
“Maybe I’ll see her in 30 or 40 years, but I think I won’t see her again. But that doesn’t matter, because my mother will always live on in my heart, values that are worth fighting for,” she said.
Mohammadi’s brother and husband told reporters in Oslo that she planned to go on a hunger strike on Sunday in solidarity with the Baha’i Faith religious minority in Iran.
Rahmani’s husband, Taghi, previously said that he hasn’t been able to see his wife for 11 years, and their children haven’t seen their mother for seven.
Mohammadi played a leading role in protests triggered by the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini last year while in police custody for allegedly violating the country’s strict headscarf law which forces women to cover their hair and entire bodies.

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