GENEVA (6 October 2023) – Welcoming the Nobel Committee’s announcement to award the 2023 Nobel Peace prize to jailed Iranian women’s rights activist Narges Mohammadi today, UN experts* urged the government of Iran to free all those imprisoned for promoting women’s human rights and protect the rights of women and girls in the country.
“The awarding of the 2023 Nobel Peace prize to a courageous journalist and woman human rights defender highlights the struggle of women against institutionalised systems of discrimination, segregation, humiliation and the exclusion of women and girls everywhere in the world,” the UN experts said.
Narges Mohammadi was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize “for her fight against the oppression of women in Iran and her efforts to promote human rights and freedom for all,” according to the Oslo-based Nobel Committee.
“Women human rights defenders standing up for human rights inside and outside Iran should be celebrated and applauded for their resilience and bravery – and supported by the international community,” the experts said.
In Iran, many women human rights defenders have been killed, jailed and forced to flee. Women-led human rights initiatives have been shut down. The human rights defenders that remain in Iran, as well as their families, live with major security risks.
The experts lauded the determination of all women and girls who continue to exercise their rights through creative and peaceful initiatives.
Women in Iran continue to experience discrimination and restrictions on their freedom of expression and movement in ways that deeply impact their lives, including in relation to compulsory hijab laws that violate their human dignity and right to equality, and affect their ability to participate in public life.
The experts expressed serious concern about the fate of Iranian women human rights defenders.
“In Iran, women human rights defenders have been detained for expressing criticism towards the authorities. The arrests and attacks appear to be aimed at punishing and silencing human rights defenders and civil rights activists, particularly in relation to women’s rights, and calling for accountability for the death of Jina Mahsa Amini in September 2022,” the experts said.
“The international community should remain engaged on the situation in Iran and take concrete steps to support accountability for serious human rights violations,” they said.
* The experts: Javaid Rehman, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran; and Dorothy Estrada Tanck (Chair), Elizabeth Broderick, Ivana Radačić, Meskerem Geset Techane and Melissa Upreti, Working Group on discrimination against women and girls, Reem Asalem, Special Rapporteur on Women Against Violence, Mary Lawlor, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders
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