Armita Garawand, a 16-year-old Kurdish girl, is in a coma following an alleged physical assault by Iran's morality police on Sunday, recalling their deadly assault on Jîna Mahsa Amini a year ago.https://t.co/CTYl669LMM pic.twitter.com/zikBDT9Slj
— MedyaNews (@1MedyaNews) October 5, 2023
Armita Garawand, a sixteen-year-old Kurdish girl, is in a coma in a Tehran hospital following an alleged physical assault by Iran’s morality police on Sunday.
Garawand, originally from Kermanshah, the country’s largest Kurdish city, was attacked in the Tehran Metro by hijab enforcers who noticed that she was not complying with Iran’s strict dress code. The enforcers allegedly smashed her head against a pole as they dragged her from a metro carriage, the incident leaving her with serious injuries that required immediate hospitalisation.
On Tuesday evening, Hengaw published a photograph of the girl in intensive care at Fajr Hospital, still in a coma. The image, which echoes the photograph of Jîna Mahsa Amini before her death, has sparked outrage and concern among local and international human rights campaigners.
Iranian security forces have been deployed in large numbers around the hospital to prevent people from gathering and protesting, as a result of which no-one is allowed to visit Garawand, even members of her family.
A journalist who went to the hospital to report on the girl’s condition was arrested by government forces, and only released hours after the incident became public knowledge.
Government officials have denied the allegations, basing their claims on a short, cropped video taken from an angle outside the train. The state media, citing the Tehran Metro authorities, have reported that Garawand fainted due to a drop in blood pressure. In the video, Garawand, apparently unconscious, is being carried from the subway by her friends.
As part of intensified efforts to enforce hijab rules since last September, when the death of 22-year-old Iranian-Kurdish Jîna Mahsa Amini sparked the nationwide Jin Jîyan Azadî protests and women across the land started to defy the dress code, the Iranian government has deployed hijab police to all Tehran metro stations. The government’s enforcement campaign has been becoming gradually more stringent over the past months.