The Norwegian Nobel Committee has urged Iranian authorities to provide medical care to this year’s Nobel Peace Prize laureate Narges Mohammadi, who is incarcerated in Tehran’s Evin prison.
Human rights activist Mohammadi began a hunger strike on November 6 over being blocked along with other inmates from getting medical care and to protest the Islamic Republic’s mandatory headscarf rules for women, her family said.
The authorities have prevented the activist from receiving medical treatment because she refused to wear a head covering for a hospital visit.
“The Norwegian Nobel Committee is deeply concerned about the health of Nobel Peace Prize laureate Narges Mohammadi after she has been denied medical treatment,” Berit Reiss-Andersen, who chairs the committee, said in a statement. “The requirement that female inmates must wear a hijab in order to be hospitalized, is inhumane and morally unacceptable.”
“Narges Mohammadi's initiation of a hunger strike demonstrates the seriousness of the situation,” Reiss-Andersen added, urging the authorities to provide Mohammadi and other female inmates with “whatever medical assistance they may need.”
The family expressed concern about Mohammadi's “physical condition and health,” saying that the outspoken activist and her lawyer for weeks have sought her transfer to a specialist hospital for heart and lung care.
Mohammadi was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize last month for keeping up her fight against the “oppression of women” in her country despite numerous arrests and spending years behind bars.