Narges Mohammadi
A handout photo provided by the Narges Mohammadi Foundation on October 2, 2023 shows an undated, unlocated photo of Iranian rights campaigner Narges Mohammadi. The Nobel Peace Prize was on October 6, 2023 awarded to imprisoned Iranian women's rights campaigner Narges Mohammadi. Image Credit: AFP

Oslo: Narges Mohammadi, a jailed Iranian women's rights advocate, won the 2023 Nobel Peace Prize on Friday.

The chair of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, Berit Reiss-Andersen, announced the prize Friday in Oslo.

The award-making committee said the prize was testimony to all those behind recent unprecedented protests in Iran and called for the release of Mohammadi, who has campaigned for both women's rights and the abolition of the death penalty.

"This prize is first and foremost a recognition of the very important work of a whole movement in Iran, with its undisputed leader, Narges Mohammadi," said Berit Reiss-Andersen, head of the Norwegian Nobel Committee.

"If the Iranian authorities make the right decision, they will release her. So she can be present to receive this honour, which is what we primarily hope for," Reiss-Andersen told a press conference after announcing Mohammadi was this year's prize winner.

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) said on Friday the award of the Nobel Peace Prize to jailed activist Narges Mohammadi highlighted the courage and determination of Iranian women.

"We've seen their courage and determination in the face of reprisals, intimidation, violence and detention," said OHCHR spokesperson Elizabeth Throssell.

Iranian Nobel peace laureate Shirin Ebadi  Narges Mohammadi
Iranian Nobel peace laureate Shirin Ebadi, centre, adjusts her scarf, as she speaks with fellow activists Narges Mohammadi, right, while Marzieh Mortazi looks on, prior to her press conference at the Centre for Protecting Human Rights in Tehran, Iran, Monday, Jan. 17, 2005. Image Credit: AP

Mohammadi is currently serving multiple sentences in Tehran's Evin Prison amounting to about 12 years imprisonment, according to the Front Line Defenders rights organisation, one of the many periods she has been detained behind bars.

Charges include spreading propaganda against the state.

She is the deputy head of the Defenders of Human Rights Center, a non-governmental organisation led by Shirin Ebadi, the 2003 Nobel Peace Prize laureate.

Mohammadi is the 19th woman to win the 122-year-old prize and the first one since Maria Ressa of the Philippines won the award in 2021 jointly with Russia's Dmitry Muratov.

"This Nobel Prize will embolden Narges' fight for human rights, but more importantly, this is in fact a prize for the woman, life and freedom (movement)," Mohammadi's husband Taghi Ramahi told Reuters at his home in Paris.

Taghi Ramahi husband of Narges Mohammadi, nobel peace prize
Taghi Ramahi, husband of Narges Mohammadi, jailed Iranian women's rights advocate, who won the 2023 Nobel Peace Prize, poses with an undated photo of himself and his wife, during an interview at his home in Paris, France, October 6, 2023. Image Credit: Reuters

The Nobel Prizes carry a cash award of 11 million Swedish kronor (about $1 million). Winners also receive an 18-carat gold medal and diploma at the award ceremonies in December.

The committee received 351 nominations for this year's prize, out of which 259 were individuals and the rest organizations. Their names are kept secret for 50 years.

Last year's winners were human rights advocates Ales Bialiatski from Belarus, the Russian organization Memorial and the Ukrainian Center for Civil Liberties.

Previous laureates include Mother Teresa, Nelson Mandela, Barack Obama, Martin Luther King and the European Union.