Narges Mohammadi is the 5th person to win the Nobel Peace Prize while being imprisoned

2023 marks the 5th time the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to someone under imprisonment. On December 10, the date on which Nobel Prizes are handed in person, the teenage twins of the jailed Iranian activist accepted the coveted award on her behalf.

As of December 2023, Mohammadi is still in prison, currently serving a 10-year jail term in Tehran. An empty chair was symbolically placed between her children on the podium, to mark her absence. Her speech was smuggled out from prison and read out by the twins, who also collected the cheque for 11 million Swedish crowns (about Rs. 8.3 crores) – at a ceremony in Oslo’s City Hall.

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Here’s a lookback at the past four similar instances:

>Carl von Ossietzky (1935): A German journalist and pacifist who exposed the secret rearmament of Nazi Germany. He was arrested and sent to a concentration camp, where he died in 1938. His recognition so infuriated Hitler that he stopped any German Nobel Laureate from attending the ceremony.

>Aung San Suu Kyi (1991): A Myanmar opposition leader and democracy activist who spent 15 years under house arrest for challenging the military dictatorship. She was released in 2010 and became the country’s de facto leader in 2015, but was ousted and detained again in 2021 following a coup.

>Liu Xiaobo (2010): A Chinese writer and human rights advocate who co-authored a manifesto calling for political reforms and greater freedoms in China. He was sentenced to 11 years in prison for inciting subversion and died of liver cancer in 2017.

>Ales Bialiatski (2022): A Belarusian pro-democracy campaigner and founder of the Viasna Human Rights Center, which provides legal and financial assistance to political prisoners and their families. He was arrested in 2011 and sentenced to four and a half years in prison for tax evasion. He was released in 2014 and continued his work until he was arrested again in 2021.

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