Irom Sharmila says her 16-year fast will end Aug. 9

 

India’s Irom Sharmila in 2013.   (AP Photo/Tsering Topgyal)

(Newser) – Irom Sharmila hasn’t eaten in 16 years. Since November 2000, the 44-year-old activist from Manipur, India, has been force-fed through a tube in her nose in a hospital prison cell as she protests the country’s Armed Forces Special Powers Act, which gives security forces freedom to kill suspects in the northeast and Kashmir. But on Aug. 9, what is believed to be the world’s longest hunger strike will come to an end. Sharmila—known as the Iron Lady of Manipur—says she will give up the fast, marry her fiancé, and enter politics to “get our voices heard,” reports the Indian Express. “The government has not been listening to our voices and has been suppressing our movement,” she says. State assembly elections will take place in February, reports Quartz. It is believed Sharmila will run as an independent candidate.

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