Iranian Nobel Laureate Narges Mohammadi on hunger strike

Iranian Nobel Laureate Narges Mohammadi on hunger strike
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Women's rights advocate risks life by refusing mandatory hijab, prompting international concern.

Nobel Peace Prize laureate Narges Mohammadi, currently incarcerated in Iran, began a hunger strike on Monday, protesting the prison's alleged refusal to provide her with necessary medical care, according to the activist news agency HRANA.

Mohammadi, an esteemed advocate for women's rights, was awarded the prestigious honor on October 6 in a move seen as a rebuke to Iran's theocratic leaders. The Iranian authorities have accused the Nobel Committee of politicizing human rights and meddling in their internal affairs.

HRANA reported that the 51-year-old Mohammadi was denied access to hospital treatment for her heart and lung conditions last week. The denial was due to her refusal to comply with the prison's requirement for women to wear a mandatory head scarf. The news agency did not disclose its sources for this information.

Earlier, the Norwegian Nobel Committee called upon Iranian authorities on Monday to provide medical assistance to this year's Peace Prize laureate. The committee denounced the prison's requirement for female inmates to wear a hijab as a condition for hospitalization, labeling it "inhumane and morally unacceptable."

On October 29 and 30, Mohammadi, along with a group of women incarcerated in Iran's notorious Evin prison, held protests over the authorities' refusal to allow her hospital treatment. A statement from Mohammadi's family conveyed to Reuters revealed, "She is willing to risk her life by not wearing the 'forced hijab' even for medical treatment."

Mohammadi, who has been arrested more than a dozen times in her life, is currently serving her third sentence in Evin prison since 2012. She is serving multiple sentences, totaling approximately 12 years, on charges including spreading propaganda against the Islamic Republic.