Kiana Rahmani, right, and Ali Rahmani attend the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize for 2023 in Oslo City Hall, Oslo, Norway, Sunday, Dec. 10, 2023. The children of imprisoned Iranian activist Narges Mohammadi, Ali Rahmani and Kiana Rahmani are to accept this year’s Nobel Peace Prize on her behalf. Mohammadi is renowned for campaigning for women’s rights and democracy in her country. (Javad Parsa/NTB via AP)BY JARI TANNER AND JAMES BROOKS
HELSINKI (ASSOCIATED PRESS) — The children of imprisoned Iranian activist Narges Mohammadi have accepted this year’s Nobel Peace Prize on her behalf in a ceremony Sunday in the Norwegian capital. Mohammadi is renowned for campaigning for women’s rights and democracy in her country, as well as fighting against the death penalty.
Ali and Kiana Rahmani, Mohammadi’s twin 17-year-old children who live in exile in Paris with their father, were given the prestigious award at Oslo City Hall, after which they gave the Nobel Peace Prize lecture in their mother’s name.
Mohammadi, 51, was awarded the 2023 Nobel Peace Prize in October for her decades of activism despite numerous arrests by Iranian authorities and spending years behind bars. She is currently detained in a prison in Tehran.
In the presence of Norway’s King Harald and Queen Sonja and other dignitaries, Berit Reiss-Andersen, chairwoman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, cited Mohammadi‘s “life-long struggle in support of human rights and strong civil society.”
“No punishment has stopped her,” Reiss-Andersen said. “When everything has been denied her, she still mobilizes the willpower and courage to make a statement. This year’s (Nobel) Peace Prize recognizes the brave women in Iran and around the world who fight for basic human rights and for an end to the discrimination and against segregation of women.”
As she handed the prize to Ali and Kiana Rahmani at the packed Oslo City Hall - decorated with blue orchids - an empty chair and a large photograph of their mother stood at the center of the stage.
“She (Mohammadi) has asked us to use this particular photograph, which expresses how she wants to lead her life, looking happy in colorful garments, exposing her hair and with a steady gaze towards us,” Reiss-Andersen said.
In their speeches, Mohammadi‘s children both expressed regret that their mother wasn’t allowed to be present in Oslo.
“She should have been here herself, but she was prevented by the executioners. I lend my voice to her, and to all the girls and women of Iran whom nothing can silence,” Kiana Rahmani said in Farsi at the beginning of her speech held in French.
Her brother noted that their mother’s “body is behind bars but her pen and thoughts have burst through the walls and reached us.”
“She and the Iranian people have never been more oppressed than