Mill Hill teen nears coma as she enters third week of hunger strike

A MILL HILL teenager entered her third week on hunger strike today, amid fears that she could slip into a coma.

Soudabeh Heidari, 19, is one of ten Anglo Iranians on hunger strike outside the US embassy in Grosvenor Square in a bid to compel the authorities to protect their friends and relatives in Iraq.

Last Tuesday Ms Heidari, who lives in Engel Park, vowed to continue her strike even if it kills her.

She was hospitalised earlier this week for the second time, but has again ignored the advice of doctors and returned to the protest.

Laila Jazeyeri, a spokeswoman for the protesters, said: “At any moment she could slip into a coma. None of them are responding to us at the moment.

“They don't want to go to hospital. We're worried sick about them. People are dying in central London and no one knows about it.”

The hunger strike began to draw attention to the fate of Iranians living in Camp Ashraf in Iraq.

The town is home to around 3,500 supporters of an Iranian opposition group, the People's Mujahideen of Iran (PMOI), who have lived there since the 1980s in fear of repression if they return to Iran.

Four weeks ago Iraqi forces stormed the camp, bulldozing homes and leaving at least 12 people dead, PMOI told Agency France Press (AFP).

The US afforded residents of the camp protected status under the Fourth Geneva Convention after the invasion of Iraq but have since handed over control of security to the Iraqi government.

The residents fear the raid forms part of an effort to forcibly repatriate them.

The Iraqi government says the aim of the raid was to establish a police station inside the camp and denied violence was used.

Dozens of PMOI supporters have held a permanent vigil outside the US embassy where Ms Soudabeht and others on hunger strike lay on blankets on the ground and camp beds.

Ms Jazeyri said: “The issue is not being covered enough. It's not good enough for them that no one is covering this major tragedy.”

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