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Jailed Nobel Peace Prize winner Narges Mohammadi ends hunger strike

The imprisoned Iranian Nobel Peace Prize winner Narges Mohammadi has ended her hunger strike after three days, according to a statement from her media team on Thursday.

She had been striking over what she said was the jail’s refusal to provide her with medical treatment.

Mohammadi ended the action on Wednesday after being allowed to leave Tehran’s Evin Prison to visit a hospital for medical care without wearing the mandatory hijab, the statement said.

Mohammadi said in the statement that she had experienced the most secure transfer in all the years of her imprisonment.

“Before my arrival at the hospital, security forces were stationed at the hospital entrance, parking lot, elevator, and the corridor leading to the doctor’s office, all under their control,” she said.

“I was surrounded by security forces everywhere. I was confined in a small room whose doors were closed and controlled by security personnel, and even my blood tests were conducted there.”

The statement continued: “I was not allowed to speak with my lawyer. My family members, who I didn’t even get to see, were identified and threatened with detention based on the prosecutor’s order.”

Mohammadi’s treatment continues to spark widespread condemnation. The Norwegian Nobel Committee called the requirement that female inmates wear the hijab for medical treatment “inhumane.”

Human rights watchdog Amnesty International accused the Iranian government of “callously toying” with Mohammadi’s life in a statement on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, on Wednesday.

Decades in jail

The 51-year-old rights activist was awarded the Nobel on October 6 for “her fight against the oppression of women in Iran and her fight to promote human rights and freedom for all.” That battle has come at a huge personal cost – she’s been sentenced to more than 30 years in jail, and has been banned from seeing her husband and children.

Mohammadi has spent most of the past two decades in prison and is currently serving a sentence of 10 years and nine months, accused of actions against national security and propaganda against the state.

In a letter written from the notorious Evin Prison earlier this year and shared with CNN, Mohammadi railed against the government’s policy of compulsory hijab, calling it a “deceitful scheme against women” and a tool “to strengthen the power of the religious government.”

In August she was sentenced to an additional year in jail for her continued activism behind bars after she gave a media interview and a statement about sexual assaults in prison, which she says have “significantly increased” since protests swept Iran last year, leading her to describe the abuse as now “systematic.”

The Iranian government has denied the widespread allegations of sexual assaults against detainees, including in an in-depth CNN investigation last year, calling them “false” and “baseless.”

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