The Committee of The Student Peace Prize awarded its 2013 prize to Majid Tavakoli, the imprisoned Iranian student from Iran.
The Student Peace Prize is awarded biennially to a student or a student organization that has made a significant contribution to creating peace and promoting human rights. The prize is awarded on behalf of all Norwegian students, and is administrated by the Student Peace Prize Secretariat in Trondheim, which appoints a national nominations committee with representatives from universities and colleges in Norway, as well as an independent Peace Prize Committee that awards the prize. The award ceremony takes place during the International Student Festival in Trondheim (ISFiT).
Majid Tavakoli - "The pride of the university, and an Iranian hero”- is an Iranian student, who is serving a nine-year-long imprisonment because of his criticism of the Iranian regime and his fight for democracy and human rights through speeches and publications. On the 7th of December 2009, the Student Day in Iran, he held a speech where he criticized the government and spoke up for a free Iran.
After his arrest, a photograph of Tavakoli wearing a hijab was published in national press. It was posted by the government to humiliate him, according to some. To support Tavakoli many people posted photos of themselves online wearing a hijab, with the title “We are all Majid”.
Tavakoli continues his battle despite the fact that he has been the victim of torture in prison, and he describes the government as fascistic and despotic. As leader of the Islamic Student Association he has become a symbol of student's resistance against the regime in Iran, even though he is aware of the risk.