Narges Mohammadi, a Nobel Peace Prize recipient, has commenced a hunger strike in her Iranian prison. Her protest centers around inadequate medical care for both herself and fellow inmates, as well as the compulsory hijab rule for women in the Islamic republic, her family announced on Monday.
The Nobel Prize was awarded to Mohammadi, a 51-year-old rights activist with extensive experience, currently imprisoned in Tehran’s Evin penitentiary. She was honored in October for her unwavering battle against the oppression of women in Iran.
‘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,’ her family said in a statement.
In defiance of the longstanding requirement for women to wear a hijab in public spaces since Iran’s 1979 Islamic revolution, Mohammadi has adamantly refuses to don the head covering under any circumstances.
In response to her health conditions, prison authorities have declined to arrange the transfer of Mohammadi, who suffers from heart and lung issues, to a hospital outside Evin for treatment.
The family’s statement stressed the pressing need for Mohammadi to receive medical treatment outside the prison.
‘Narges went on a hunger strike today in protesting 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 statement said.
‘The Islamic republic is responsible for anything that happens to our beloved Narges,’ it said. ‘It’s been a week now that they are refusing to give her the medical aid she needs.’
First detained 22 years ago, Mohammadi’s life has been punctuated by intermittent jail terms over the past two decades, all stemming from her tireless work in advocating for human rights in Iran.
Her most recent detention dates back to November 2021, and it has been eight years since she had the opportunity to see her children, who are presently in France.