December 2, 2023

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Iranian Nobel Peace Prize Winner Goes On Hunger Strike In Jail

Nobel Peace Prize Winner Narges Mohammadi Goes On Hunger Strike In Iranian Jail

Prison officials refused to take her to the hospital over her denial to wear a hijab

Imprisoned Iranian Nobel Peace Prize winner Narges Mohammadi began a hunger strike on Monday to protest against Iran’s denial of medical care to her as well as against the country’s strict hijab rules, BBC reported. Human Rights Activists News Agency said authorities had not let the 51-year-old go to the hospital for heart and lung treatment last week because she had refused to wear a mandatory head scarf for the visit. 

”Narges went on a hunger strike today … protesting two things: The Islamic Republic’s policy of delaying and neglecting medical care for sick inmates, resulting in the loss of the health and lives of individuals. The policy of ‘death’ or ‘mandatory hijab’ for Iranian women,” the statement read.

Ms Mohammadi’s family said that she was suffering from blockages in three veins and lung pressure, but prison officials refused to take her to the hospital over her denial to wear a hijab. Her family added that she was only consuming water, sugar, and salt, and had stopped taking her medications.

The Norwegian Nobel Committee on Monday urged Iranian authorities to give Ms Mohammadi the medical help she needs. “The requirement that female inmates must wear a hijab in order to be hospitalized, is inhumane and morally unacceptable,” the committee said.

Notably, the head covering has been obligatory for women in public spaces since shortly after Iran’s 1979 Islamic revolution.

The imprisoned women’s rights advocate won the 2023 Peace Prize on October 6 for fighting against the oppression of women in Iran. She is serving multiple sentences amounting to about 12 years imprisonment on charges including spreading propaganda against the Islamic Republic.

The Nobel laureate has been arrested 13 times, convicted five times, and sentenced to a total of 31 years in prison and 154 lashes, said the Nobel Prize website, adding, “Her brave struggle has come with tremendous personal costs.” 

Violent protests had broken out in the country after Mahsa Amini, a young Kurdish woman, was killed in the custody of the morality police.

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