Iranian Nobel winner Narges Mohammadi begins hunger strike in prison

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Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Narges Mohammadi has launched hunger strike in Iranian prison over medical care and hijab mandate.

TEHRAN, Iran, Nov 6, (Agencies): Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Narges Mohammadi, has initiated a hunger strike in her Iranian prison to protest against inadequate medical care for herself and fellow inmates, as well as the compulsory requirement for women to wear the hijab in Iran, as reported by her family on Monday.

Narges Mohammadi, a prominent human rights activist at the age of 51, is currently held in Tehran’s Evin prison. She received the Nobel Peace Prize in October for her relentless advocacy against the oppression of women in Iran.

Her family released a statement expressing their concern, stating that “Narges Mohammadi, today, through a message from Evin Prison, has informed her family that she started a hunger strike several hours ago. We are concerned about Narges Mohammadi’s physical condition and health.”

Narges Mohammadi has steadfastly refused to wear the hijab, the head covering mandated for women in public spaces in Iran since shortly after the 1979 Islamic revolution. Prison authorities have, in response, denied her transfer to an external hospital for treatment, despite her suffering from heart and lung conditions.

According to her family, Narges Mohammadi urgently requires medical treatment outside the prison. The statement released by her family highlighted the reasons for her hunger strike: “Narges went on a hunger strike today in protest of two things: The Islamic Republic’s policy of delaying and neglecting medical care for sick inmates… (and) the policy of ‘mandatory hijab’ for Iranian women.” The family held the Islamic Republic accountable for Narges’s well-being, stating, “The Islamic Republic is responsible for anything that happens to our beloved Narges. It’s been a week now that they are refusing to give her the medical aid she needs.”

Narges Mohammadi’s long history of activism has led to multiple arrests over the past two decades due to her dedication to advocating for human rights in Iran. Her most recent incarceration began in November 2021, during which she has been separated from her children, who are now residing in France, for eight years.

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