Sweden’s Olof Palme Award for three female freedom activists: Eren Keskin (Turkey), Marta Chumalo (Ukraine), Narges Mohammadi (Iran)

STOCKHOLM – Sweden’s Olof Palme International Center has announced the winners of the 2023 Palme Award. The award goes to three female freedom activists “for their fight for women’s freedom, at a time when human rights are threatened by war, violence, and oppression.”

The Olof Palme Center said the 2023 Olof Palme Prize was awarded to Iranian journalist and human rights activist Narges Mohammadi, who has been imprisoned for “propaganda activities against the state” in Tehran’s notorious Evin prison since November 2021; Marta Chumalo, a Ukrainian women’s rights activist; and Eren Keskin, a human rights lawyer from Turkey who has spent decades defending discriminated ethnic minorities, LGBTQI+ people, and refugees.

“Throughout their lives and through their actions, these three women, along with many of their sisters in the struggle, have inspired others and paved the way for courageous young women and men to continue to fight for the basic human rights of all people,” the Olof Palme Center press statement said.

Eren Keskin is the co-chair of the Turkish Human Rights Association (İnsan Hakları Derneği, İHD). She has been subject to hundreds of accusations, death threats, and prosecutions. She has been jailed for her beliefs, with Amnesty International declaring her a prisoner of conscience. Through the establishment of the Association for Legal Aid against Sexual Violence, she has succeeded over the years in prosecuting various senior military officers and authorities.

The annual Olof Palme prize was introduced in 1987 for particularly significant contributions in the spirit of the murdered former Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme. Prize winner(s) will receive a total of USD 100,000 in prize money. An award ceremony will take place in the Stockholm Concert Hall on February 1, 2023.