Narges Mohammadi, Nobel Peace Prize laureate, is staging a hunger strike in Iran’s Evin Prison, calling for access to medical treatment for heart and lung conditions. Her health crisis requires an echocardiogram, yet she is denied hospital care for refusing to wear a hijab, a stance that echoes her longstanding opposition to Iran’s policies on women’s attire.
Alarmed by Mohammadi’s health emergency, the Norwegian Nobel Committee denounced the precondition of wearing a hijab for hospital treatment as inhumane. They demanded that Iran provide necessary medical care to Mohammadi and other female inmates.
The Free Narges Mohammadi campaign has advocated for her release, criticising Iran’s intensifying hijab laws. Mohammadi’s family also made recent public statements highlighting the health emergency and the prison protests advocating for a right to hospitalisation without enforced hijab.
Mohammadi, 51, is a prominent figure in the ‘Woman, Life, Freedom’ (‘Jin, Jiyan, Azadî’) movement – global action sparked in 2022 by the death of young Kurdish-Iranian woman Jîna Mahsa Amini while in custody of Iran’s morality police for not wearing her hijab properly. Despite being sentenced to a 12-year term by Iranian authorities on multiple counts, Mohammadi has remained a vocal critic of compulsory hijab-wearing.
The Iranian government has not publicly acknowledged Mohammadi’s hunger strike nor her health concerns, casting her continued imprisonment and her advocacy efforts in a state of uncertainty.