Iranian Nobel Laureate Mohammadi Again In Hospital


Prominent Iranian human rights activist and Nobel Prize laureate Narges Mohammadi, who is incarcerated in Tehran’s Evin prison, has been taken for a second time in 10 days to a hospital amid a protracted legal and health battle.

The decision, announced on Mohammadi’s Instagram account, came a day after officials blocked the move to a hospital because of her refusal to wear a compulsory hijab, or Islamic head scarf. The authorities’ stance has sparked wide-scale protests from her fellow inmates and supporters.

Medical tests conducted on November 8 revealed critical health concerns, including the blockage of two heart arteries and severe complications, such as fluid accumulation around the heart and esophageal inflammation. She was subsequently taken back to prison.

In the post on Instagram, Mohammadi’s relatives, who run the account, said the 2023 Nobel Peace Prize winner was to have further treatment for her heart.

For several weeks, Mohammadi required medical attention outside the prison but was denied a transfer due to her persistent refusal to conform to compulsory hijab rules. In response, Mohammadi embarked on a hunger strike, escalating her protest against the prison authorities’ decision.

Under increasing international pressure, the Iranian judiciary relented, allowing Mohammadi’s transfer to a medical facility. In a defiant statement on her Instagram on November 9, Mohammadi announced that her transfer to the hospital occurred “without a scarf and in a coat and skirt,” signaling an end to her hunger strike.

A similar scenario played out this week when she was again — at least initially — kept from transferring to a hospital over the hijab.

Renowned globally as a staunch advocate for the “Women, Life, Freedom” movement, Mohammadi was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize on October 6.

For years, Mohammadi has voiced dissent against the obligatory hijab rule imposed on Iranian women, as well as restrictions on women’s freedoms and rights in the country by its Islamic regime.

Mohammadi’s husband, Taghi Rahmani, said last week that the Nobel award had ratcheted up pressure on Mohammadi from officials, with some citing her statements as grounds for indictment.

He also noted Mohammadi’s steadfast refusal to revert to wearing the mandatory hijab, a stance reinforced since the “Woman, Life, Freedom” protests began after the September 2022 death of Mahsa Amini.

The 22-year-old died while in the custody of Tehran’s notorious morality police. They had detained her for an alleged head scarf violation.

Source : Rferl