February 24, 2024

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Iranian Nobel Prize laureate Narges Mohammadi begins a new hunger strike: Family |  Women's rights news

Iranian Nobel Prize laureate Narges Mohammadi begins a new hunger strike: Family | Women’s rights news

Mohammadi will go on a hunger strike in “solidarity” with the Baha’i religious minority in Iran while receiving her award in Norway.

Nobel Peace Prize laureate Narges Mohammadi, currently imprisoned in Iran for her activism for women’s rights, will begin a new hunger strike in prison as her prize is awarded in Norway, her family said.

At a press conference on Saturday in Oslo, Mohammadi’s husband Taghi Rahmani, their twin children Ali and Kiana Rahmani and her brother, who represent the veteran human rights activist at an awards ceremony on Sunday, said the new strike is a show of solidarity towards Iran’s Baha’i religious minority.

Her younger brother, Hamid Reza Mohammadi, said in a brief opening statement: “She is not here with us today. She is in prison and will be on a hunger strike in solidarity with a religious minority, but we feel her presence here.”

Mohammadi’s husband and children pose for photos after signing the guest book at the Nobel Institute in Oslo [Frederik Ringnes/NTB/via Reuters]

Mohammadi, 51, won the Nobel Prize in October “for her struggle against the oppression of women in Iran.” She is the 19th woman to win the 11 million Swedish krona (about $1 million) prize, and the fifth person to win it while in detention.

“On International Human Rights Day, December 10, I will also go on a hunger strike to protest human rights violations in Iran and in solidarity with the hunger strike of Baha’i women prisoners in Evin Prison,” a Twitter post said. Al-Mohammadi’s Instagram account.

Mohammadi is currently detained in Tehran’s Evin Prison, where she went on another hunger strike last month to protest restrictions on medical care for her and other prisoners, as well as the requirement for women to wear the hijab in Iran, according to her family.

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In a letter smuggled from prison and published by Swedish public broadcaster SVT on Monday, Mohammadi said she would continue the strike even if it led to her death.

“Prison, psychological torture, constant solitary confinement, one sentence after another; “This has not and will not stop me,” she wrote, according to SVT.

“I will defend freedom and equality even if it costs me my life,” she said, adding that she misses her children the most.

In a strong statement in support of Mohammadi, the head of the Norwegian Nobel Prize Committee, Berit Reiss-Andersen, said the body was “deeply concerned” about the health of the 2023 Nobel laureate.

Mohammadi was first arrested 22 years ago, and has spent most of the past two decades in and out of prison for her campaigning for human rights in Iran. She has recently been imprisoned since November 2021 and has not seen her children, who now reside in France, for eight years.

At the press conference in Oslo, Kiana, who last saw her mother eight years ago, said: “When it comes to seeing her again, I personally am very pessimistic.”

“Maybe I will see her in 30 or 40 years, but I think I will never see her again,” she said at a press conference through a translator. “But it doesn’t matter because my mother will always live in my heart and with my family.”

Mohammadi’s Nobel Prize came in the wake of months-long protests across Iran over the September 2022 death in custody of Mahsa Amini, 22, who was arrested for allegedly violating Iran’s strict dress code for women.

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Ali and Kiana will receive their Mohammadi certificate and gold medal at Oslo City Hall and deliver the Nobel Prize lecture on behalf of their mother on Sunday.