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5 Nobel Peace Prize winners were in prison when they won

Iranian human rights activist Nargus Mohammadi, who has been in prison for the past two decades, has become the fifth person to win the Nobel Peace Prize while in prison, according to a report by Agence France-Presse.

The 51-year-old journalist, who launched a campaign against the mandatory hijab and the death penalty, was rewarded on Friday for her fight against the oppression of women in Iran.

He is the vice president of the Center for Human Rights Defenders, founded by human rights lawyer Shirin Ebadi, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2003.

Here are the other four winners who were in jail when announced:

– 1935 Carl von Ositzky, Germany:

Journalist and peace activist Carl von Osietsky was in a Nazi prison camp when it was announced that he had won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1935 and was unable to travel to Oslo to receive it.

Carl von Ositzky (AP)

Von Ossietsky, who was arrested three years ago in a raid on Adolf Hitler’s enemies after a fire in the Reichstag (headquarters of the German parliament), is the first dissident of a regime anywhere in the world to win this prestigious award.

Adolf Hitler, enraged by the Norwegian Nobel Committee’s decision, banned all German citizens from accepting Nobel Prizes in any form.

While Osiatsky was unable to receive the certificate and the Nobel Gold Medal, a German lawyer allowed his family to trick him into collecting the prize money. Osiatsky died in captivity in 1938.

– 1991 Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar:

Myanmar’s ousted pro-democracy leader won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991 while under house arrest as part of the country’s military authorities’ crackdown on pro-democracy opposition.

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Aung San Suu Kyi (Reuters)

Suu Kyi was rewarded for her “non-violent struggle for democracy and human rights” and feared she would not be allowed to return to Myanmar if she traveled to Oslo.

Her sons and husband attended the award ceremony in 1991 and received the award on her behalf. In a symbolic gesture, an empty chair was placed on the stage.

After her release in 2010, Suu Kyi delivered her Nobel Lecture in 2012. He later assumed the leadership of the country.

But he was arrested again after the generals took power in February 2021. In 2022, he was sentenced to up to 33 years in prison, and military chief Min Aung Hlaing later partially commuted the sentence.

– 2010 Liu Xiaobo, China:

The Chinese dissident won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2010. He was serving an 11-year sentence for conspiracy.

Liu Xiaobo (Reuters)

He was rewarded for his “long and non-violent struggle for basic human rights in China”. His seat was left vacant and no award was given.

His wife Liu Xia was placed under house arrest after he was declared the winner, and his three brothers were banned from leaving China.

He died of liver cancer in 2017 at the age of 61 in a Chinese hospital after being transferred from prison, becoming the second Nobel laureate to die in prison.

– 2022 Alice Bialiatsky, Belarus:

Belarusian human rights activist Ales Bialiatsky was jailed in July 2021. In 2022, he won the Nobel Prize in collaboration with the Russian Memorial Committee and the Ukrainian Center for Civil Rights for documenting war crimes and human rights abuses.

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Alice Bialiatsky (AP)

The head of the Vyasna Center, a prominent human rights group, has been at the forefront of those seeking to document abuses by Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko’s regime.

After months of mass protests against Lukashenko’s rule, Bialatsky was arrested on charges of tax evasion, a move opponents saw as a veiled attempt to silence him. He was represented by his wife Natalia Pinchuk.

He was sentenced to 10 years in prison in March. Other members of Vyasna were also sentenced to imprisonment.

Nadia Barnett
Nadia Barnett
"Award-winning beer geek. Extreme coffeeaholic. Introvert. Avid travel specialist. Hipster-friendly communicator."

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