Iranian rights activist Nasrin Sotoudeh has won the Alice Schwarzer Foundation's 2023 Heroine Award in recognition of her unwavering advocacy for women's rights.
The foundation described Sotoudeh as the "Nelson Mandela of Iran" and emphasized her significant role as a human rights activist, Iran International’s correspondent Ahmad Samadi reported..
The Mayor of Berlin Kai Wegner praised Sotoudeh's efforts, stating, "Nasrin Sotoudeh is one of these women - and a hero. We in Berlin, as a city of freedom, show our solidarity with the courageous women in Iran who are fighting against the veil requirement and for women's rights."
Alice Schweitzer, director of the Schweitzer Foundation and an influential journalist and feminist, discussed her 1979 visit to Iran and highlighted how oppressive the hijab requirement was. In the Iranian theocracy, veils are more than just pieces of fabric, they symbolize political Islam, she asserted.
Women's rights activist Mansoureh Shojaei accepted the award on behalf of Sotoudeh and highlighted how Iranian women reject mandatory hijab and continue to fight against it.
Before her incarceration, Sotoudeh recorded a video message expressing her intention to dedicate the award to Armita Geravand.
Sixteen-year-old Armita died on October 28 after spending about a month in coma following a violent encounter with hijab enforcers at a Tehran subway station. Nasrin Sotoudeh was arrested at her funeral on October 29th.
Besides being named one of Time's 100 Most Influential People of 2021, Sotoudeh has received many awards including the Sakharov Prize, the Robert Badinter Award and the Right Livelihood Award widely known as the “Alternative Nobel Prize”.