Iranian Nobel laureate goes on hunger strike


Imprisoned Iranian Nobel Peace Prize winner Narges Mohammadi began a hunger strike on Monday (Nov 6) in protest against what she said was the jail’s failure to give her access to medical care, the activist HRANA news agency reported.

Iranian human rights activist and the vice president of the Defenders of Human Rights Center (DHRC) Narges Mohammadi poses in this undated handout picture.
PHOTO: Reuters file

The women’s rights advocate won the award on Oct 6 in a rebuke to Tehran’s theocratic leaders, who accused the Nobel committee of meddling and politicising the issue of human rights.

HRANA said authorities had not let the 51-year-old go to hospital for heart and lung treatment last week because she had refused to wear a mandatory head scarf for the visit. The news agency did not name its sources.

The Norwegian Nobel Committee on Monday urged Iranian authorities to give Mohammadi the medical help she needs.

“The requirement that female inmates must wear a hijab in order to be hospitalised, is inhumane and morally unacceptable,” the committee said.

Iran’s judiciary did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

“Mohammadi has gone on a hunger strike to protest against the authorities’ failure to address her demands, including their refusal to transfer her to a specialist hospital,” HRANA reported.

“This deprivation continues under the order of the prison authorities,” HRANA added.

On Oct 29 and 30, Mohammadi and a group of women held in Iran’s Evin prison protested against the refusal by prison authorities to send Mohammadi to hospital for treatment, according to a statement by Mohammadi’s family sent to Reuters.

“She is willing to risk her life by not wearing the ‘forced hijab’ even for medical treatment,” said the Nov 1 statement, written before Monday’s announcement of the Nobel laureate’s hunger strike.

Mohammadi has been arrested more than a dozen times in her life and this is her third time in Evin prison since 2012.

She is serving multiple sentences amounting to about 12 years imprisonment on charges including spreading propaganda against the Islamic Republic.

“We are concerned about Narges Mohammadi’s physical condition and health,” the Free Narges Mohammadi campaign wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter.

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