(Reuters) – Narges Mohammadi, an Iranian women’s rights advocate serving 12 years in jail, won the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday in a decision likely to anger Tehran’s theocratic government.
Who is Narges Mohammadi and why is she in prison?
Mohammadi, 51, is now 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 began her career as a campaigner 32 years ago as a student.
“My goal back then was to fight religious tyranny, which along with tradition and social customs has led to the deep repression of women” in Iran, she wrote in an op-ed in the New York Times on Sept. 16, first anniversary of the death in custody of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini that galvanized protests last year.
Mohammadi is 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 has been in Evin prison three times since 2012, she wrote in the New York Times op-ed last month.
Mohammadi is a prominent rights activist whose detention has been a focal point for Iranians who want to see human rights improve in their country.
Mohammadi has been unable to see her children for seven years and her husband for 15 because of her incarceration, husband Taghi Rahmani says.
Mohammadi has been arrested by Iranian authorities 13 times and sentenced to a total of 31 years in prison and 154 lashes, according to the Nobel Peace Prize website.
(Editing by Peter Graff)