An Iranian teenager has been left comatose after she was reportedly assaulted by state morality police for not wearing a mandatory hijab, echoing the treatment of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini.
Armita Geravand, 16, is currently lying in a hospital under ‘strict measures’ at an air force hospital in Tehran, Iran’s capital, according to a civil rights group.
Hengaw, a Norway-based Kurdish human rights NGO, claims that on Sunday morning, Armita sustained ‘severe injuries’ when she was attacked by hijab officers in Shohada Station, a stop on the city’s metro, for allegedly not wearing a hijab, which all women in Iran are meant to wear under strict morality laws.
Unverified CCTV footage, shared to local media, appears to show the teenager walking towards the train without a hijab on with two of her friends.
Upon entering the cabin, one of the girls is seen immediately backing off and reaching for the ground, before another girl is dragged unconscious from the cabin by passengers.
Armita was allegedly beaten by Iran’s morality police for not wearing a hijab
The Hengaw human rights group shared a photo of Armita (pictured) in a comatose state in a hospital bed
Armita was allegedly beaten into a comatose state after getting on a train on Tehran’s metro
Several passengers can be seen gathering round to watch the girl be carried off.
Footage from inside the train has not yet been released.
Hengaw later shared a photo of a young girl lying in a hospital bed with several pieces of medical equipment attached to her, claiming it was an image of Armita.
A source told an Iranian news agency that she was ‘brought into hospital in a comatose state’ and needed CPR as she had either ceased breathing or her heart had stopped.
Authorities denied that this was a case of state abuse against yet another young woman.
The head of the Tehran Metro Operating Company, Masoud Dorosti, said the CCTV footage showed no sign of verbal or physical conflict between passengers or company employees.
‘There were no verbal or physical altercations between the student and passengers or metro personnel. Rumours about a confrontation between metro personnel and the student are baseless and are contradicted by metro security footage,’ he said.
Armita’s parents have publicly stated that their daughter had suffered a drop in blood pressure, lost her balance, and hit her head inside the metro cabin.
She was taken off the train by her friends and several passengers
Several more passengers began crowding around her after she was removed from the train
‘I think my daughter’s blood pressure dropped, I am not too sure, I think they have said her pressure dropped,’ her mother said. But she added that there was no point in creating controversy.
But several activists, who spoke to Reuters on the condition of anonymity claim Iran has applied heavy pressure on her parents.
‘Her relatives said there is a heavy presence of plain clothes at the hospital,’ one of the activists in Iran said.
The second activist said security forces had forbidden Armita’s parents from posting her picture on social media or from talking to human rights groups.
An Iranian journalist investigating the incident was arrested and held by authorities for several hours after she made inquiries at the hospital.
Iran’s interior ministry has not yet commented on the alleged attack against Armita.
Major world figures have already condemned Iran for the incident.
Germany’s Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock on X, formerly Twitter, said: ‘Once again a young woman in #Iran is fighting for her life. Just because she showed her hair in the subway. It is unbearable.
‘The parents of #ArmitaGarawand do not belong in front of cameras, but have the right to be at their daughter’s bedside.’
Armita’s case has raised concerns the 16-year-old might face the same fate as Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old woman whose death in a coma last year in the custody of morality police sparked months of nationwide protest.
150 people have been killed and hundreds injured during the regimes crack down on protests
Protests have swept Iran since Amini’s death in police custody
Mahsa was on a visit to the Iranian capital with her family when she was detained by the special police unit that enforces the strict dress rules for women, including the compulsory headscarf.
Her brother Kiaresh said at the time that while he was waiting outside the police station for her to be released, an ambulance drove out taking her to hospital.
He was told that she was in a comatose state after she suffered a heart attack and a brain seizure.
Mahsa later died of her injuries, but Iran denied involvement in her death, claiming that she had died from multiple organ failure caused by lack of oxygen to the brain.
Nearly 80 people died over 11 nights of violent unrest across the country last September after Iran’s citizens called for the death of the current leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, after news of her death spread.