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Iran: Nobel Peace winner Narges Mohammadi must be released immediately; plus a letter from her family

October 10, 2023 IN WIP
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A Letter From Narges’ Family:

A Historic and Profound Moment for Iran’s Fight for Freedom: The Distinguished 2023 Nobel Peace Prize Bestowed upon Iranian Human Rights Defender Narges Mohammadi for her Unwavering Dedication to Human Rights and Women’s Rights Over the Years.

With utmost sincerity, we extend our heartfelt congratulations to all Iranians, with a special emphasis on the courageous women and girls of Iran who have consistently advocated for justice, peace, and equality & freedom. This prestigious recognition serves as an enduring testament to the unwavering dedication of Narges Mohammadi.

Regrettably, we find ourselves unable to witness her joyous reaction to this remarkable and splendid news due to her unjust imprisonment. On behalf of Narges Mohammadi, her family wishes to express their profound gratitude to the Nobel Peace Committee for bestowing upon her this highly esteemed honor.

This notable honor belongs to every single one of you, the resilient, brave, courageous people of Iran, who have tirelessly and peacefully struggled for freedom. Let us come together to celebrate this momentous incident, with a special salutation of the brave women and girls who have captivated the world’s attention through their incredible courage & bravery in the past year within the “Women, Life, Freedom” movement. Our warmest congratulations extend from Narges’s family to the remarkable people of Iran.

As Narges always says:

Victory is now easy, but it’s certain.


Narges Mohammadi’s Family

6 October 2023: PEN International praises the decision by the Nobel Committee to award prominent writer and human rights defender Narges Mohmmadi the 2023 Nobel Peace Prize.  This timely recognition of Mohammadi’s relentless struggle for human rights in Iran over decades is also a tribute to the Iranian people’s defiance in the face of repression.

PEN International reiterates its calls for Narges Mohammadi’s immediate and unconditional release, for all charges against her to be dropped, and for the immediate release of all those imprisoned simply because of their peaceful expression.

In response to the Nobel Committee decision, President of PEN International Burhan Sonmez said: “We are thrilled by the Nobel Peace Committee to award the legendary human rights activist and writer Narges Mohammadi the 2023 Nobel Peace Prize. Narges has been an unstoppable force and relentless advocate for the Iranian people’s rights. Today’s announcement is a tribute to all Iranian women who courageously defied repression and stood in the face of one of the world’s most ruthless regimes. We will continue to call for her immediate and unconditional release and for an end to the Iranian regime’s crackdown on freedom of expression and human rights in Iran.”

Since January 2023, the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence has brought several charges against Narges Mohammadi in retaliation for her activism while incarcerated. In particular, her criticism of the government’s brutal response to the ongoing protests at the time, including the subsequent rise in executions and violence against women in detention facilities following the September mass protest movement last year. Between January and June 2023, Iranian authorities initiated five new investigations into Mohammadi’s activism in prison. Authorities opened investigations on spurious charges, including “propaganda against the regime” on January 7th and 25th, April 13th, May 16th, and June 18th, 2023.

In August, PEN International condemned an additional one-year retaliatory sentence against Mohammadi, increasing her total sentence to ten years, nine months imprisonment and 154 lashes. This sentence reportedly stemmed from Mohammadi’s online criticism/writings  whilst in Evin Prison in January 2023. She was convicted of “propaganda against the regime” following an unfair trial. Her family have expressed concerns that she might face further illegal convictions over the coming months following the spate of recent investigations.


Narges Mohammadi is an Iranian writer, journalist, human rights defender, and Honorary Member of the Danish, Belgian, Norwegian, and Swedish PEN centres. She is the former Vice-President and spokesperson of the Defenders of Human Rights Center (DHRC), which advocates for human rights reform and represents political prisoners and prisoners of conscience in legal proceedings. Mohammadi also received the 2013 Oxfam Novib / PEN Award. She was arrested on several occasions over the past years and has spent prolonged periods in arbitrary imprisonment.

In May 2021, Narges Mohammadi was handed a new sentence of 30 months in prison and 80 lashes, just months after she was released in October 2020 after serving five and a half years in prison. Her conviction stemmed from several trumped-up charges, including “propaganda against the regime”, “defamation”, and “rebellious conduct while incarcerated”. Mohammadi believes that the conviction against her was in retaliation over a complaint she made against the director of Evin Prison. She was arbitrarily arrested on 16 November 2021 while attending a memorial service in Karaj City for Ebrahim Ketabdars, who was shot and killed by security forces during a protest in November 2019.

For more information on Narges Mohammdi’s case history, click here:

For further information please contact Mina Thabet, Head of the MENA Region at PEN International, email:

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People say that (writers) are pretty powerless: we don’t have an army, we don’t have a bureaucracy. But if that were true, then why would writers be arrested?... Because the spoken word is powerful.

— John Ralston Saul on the work of PEN International