The Prime Minister's introduction at the press conference after meeting with the family of Narges Mohammadi

'This meeting was also a stark reminder of the sacrifices that Narges and her closest family have been going through and are going through, every day, in the struggle for freedom and universal human rights', said Prime Minister Støre.

Transcript of what the PM said

Good morning and welcome to all of you – the media representatives – but first and foremost, to the guests:

The Nobel Peace Laurate, Narges Mohammadi’s closest family, represented by Narges’ husband Taghi Rahmani, her children Kiana and Ali, and her brother Hamidreza. A warm welcome to all of you.

Winners of the Nobel Peace Prize spend some time in Oslo and they come close to the people of the city and the people of Norway. And I have just hosted a meeting, a breakfast, which is a tradition, where I once again could convey my congratulations on this year's Nobel Peace Prize to Narges Mohammadi.

I feel humble – I mean, to be living in a peaceful country, like Norway, and to meet people who have to suffer from what a separated family has to go through. We had a special meeting, very moving,  informative, in many ways, building on impressions that have touched us these last days.

And this meeting was also a stark reminder of the sacrifices that Narges and her closest family have been going through and are going through, every day, in the struggle for freedom and universal human rights.

You know that the Nobel Committee is an independent committee, interpreting the will of Alfred Nobel, who died in 1896 – and at that time Norway was actually under Swedish rule – but still Nobel decided that the Norwegian Parliament should appoint a committee to award the annual Peace Prize “to the person who shall have done the most or best work for fraternity between nations …”.

The first prize was given to Henri Dunant, the founder of the Red Cross, and since then there is a long history of different prizes, but still respecting the will of Alfred Nobel.

This year’s Peace Prize reflects that Narges Mohammadi has done an important work that inspires far beyond Iran. It is a recognition of her relentless efforts to advocate for human rights – and to create the links between civil society, human rights and peace.

It is also a recognition of all those people who are working for more respect for human rights, in all countries, and also for the fight for human dignity against the death penalty.

We have all learned the motto adopted by the movement in Iran and now globally: Women, Life, Freedom. In farsi, as I have learnt from my friends: Zan, Zendegi, Azadi.

Advocating for universal human rights – including women’s rights – should never be a punishable offense.

Narges Mohammadi’s fight for human rights and against the oppression of women, for dignity and freedom, has come at a very high personal cost. And this morning, I have heard how her family have been paying a heavy price. They have left their home country, they are staying united, and they are staying close to their mother, wife and sister – in their spirit and in their tireless work.

It goes without saying that nobody should have to suffer like this for defending fundamental human rights, for themselves or others.

And let me end by saying that yesterday, we marked the 75th anniversary of the adoptation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and I would like to quote the first line of the declaration; “Recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world”.

So, I believe that these words remind us that the fulfilment of these rights is not a given, and that for many they remain elusive.

The promotion of human rights and human rights defenders, men and women, is a key priority in Norway’s foreign and development policy. It will remain so. And this year’s prize is a reminder of why it is so important.

The women of Iran continue to inspire us all around the world.

Their brave struggle and relentless fight for freedom and equality also make all of us humble, and Narges Mohammadi is a very brave individual and example of this.

We know – and we heard her message yesterday – that she will continue her fight for freedom, no matter the personal costs. That is a strong message to receive as we live in our free and stable Norway.

I can promise that we, for Norway’s part, will not cease to raise her case and the rights she fights for.

We heard from Narges’ children yesterday, they gave a powerful statement in the City Hall; I think they have conveyed their message so there is nothing more for them to add to that, so therefore I leave instead the floor to the press so that you can ask questions.

More information