Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Ebadi: Mohammadi’s Winning of Award Will Have Significant International Impact

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Shirin Ebadi speaks with The Yomiuri Shimbun in Tokyo on Nov. 6.

Shirin Ebadi, an Iranian lawyer who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2003, praised currently imprisoned 2023 Nobel Peace Prize winner Narges Mohammadi as a strong-willed and brave woman who will not give in to oppression, during an interview with The Yomiuri Shimbun in Tokyo.

Ebadi was visiting the capital to participate in an event held by a private organization along with four other Nobel Peace Prize laureates, including Kailash Satyarthi, who leads a campaign against child labor in India.

Ebadi and Mohammadi are the only Iranians to have won the prize.

Ebadi has been forced to live in virtual exile in Britain for the past 14 years after her assets were seized by the Iranian authorities. Mohammadi, meanwhile, is currently being held in Tehran.

During the Nov. 6 interview, Ebadi stressed that Mohammadi’s award was significant in terms of raising international attention of the circumstances currently faced by women in Iran.

Ebadi said corruption and violence are widespread in Iran, and reforming the system seems impossible. She stressed the need for the country to separate politics and religion and make a shift to democracy.

Reuters file photo
Narges Mohammadi

Mohammadi, a member of a nongovernmental human rights organization founded by Ebadi, has long called for the respect of women’s rights and the abolition of the death penalty. Ebadi said they had jointly published a book outside Iran containing the testimonies of female political prisoners.

Ebadi was awarded the prize for her efforts to improve the rights of women and children in Iran, where Islam stands at the center of the political and social structure.

Having faced oppression by the Iranian government, Ebadi decided not to go back to her home country, believing that if she were to be imprisoned upon return, her voice would no longer be heard.

Ebadi has been calling for peace via publications and lectures outside the country, with the aim of transmitting the voice of the Iranian people around the world.