Nargess Mohammadi

Nargess Mohammadi, an Iranian human rights activist, has been awarded the Swedish Government’s and the Living History Forum’s human rights award in memory of Per Anger, which is awarded each year to individuals who struggle for the cause of democracy and human rights around the world.

Mohammadi was arrested last September and charged with “propaganda against the regime” for which she has been sentenced to 11 years in prison. She is now under house arrest outside Tehran.

Jury chairman Eskil Franck said: “Narges Mohammadi is paying a high price for her human rights campaigning. Despite previous imprisonment, repeated harassment, a travel ban and now house arrest, she continues to work for democracy and human rights in Iran. She is an inspiration for human rights activists around the world and a worthy recipient of the Per Anger prize.”

Mohammadi has been prohibited from travelling abroad since 2009, and her colleague, Iranian Nobel Peace laureate Shirin Ebadi, will accept the award in her place on November 14.

Mohammadi has been fierce critic of the Iranian government for holding political prisoners without trial and she has also been involved in campaigning for women’s rights. She is Deputy Chairperson of Iran’s Centre for Human Rights Defenders, an organization that provides prisoners with defence lawyers, and she is also the co-founder of the Iranian National Peace Council, a group that campaigns for human rights in Iran.