Iranian teen Armita Geravand, allegedly comatose after morality police encounter, declared “brain dead.”
Protests linked to Mahsa Amini’s death after morality police detention for hijab violation.
Journalists Niloufar Hamedi and Elaheh Mohammadi sentenced to prison for covering Amini’s story.
A 16-year-old Iranian girl, Armita Geravand, who fell into a coma following an alleged confrontation with morality police, is now reported as “brain dead,” according to state media.
Armita’s collapse occurred after she boarded a Tehran metro train on October 1. While activists have accused morality police of assaulting her for not wearing a hijab, authorities have maintained that she simply fainted.
Her parents and activists have not provided immediate confirmation of Armita’s condition. She is currently receiving medical care in Tehran’s Fajr Hospital, under tight security.
Many Iranians have drawn comparisons to the case of Mahsa Amini, a young woman who died in custody in September 2022 after being detained by morality police in Tehran for allegedly wearing her hijab “improperly.”
Witnesses claimed she was beaten by officers, but authorities attributed her death to pre-existing medical conditions.
Following Amini’s tragic incident, antigovernmental protests have persisted, resulting in hundreds of casualties and thousands of detentions in a forceful response by security forces.
CCTV footage released by Iranian authorities shows Armita Geravand, without a hijab, boarding a train at Tehran’s Shohada station in the company of two other girls.
Shortly after, one of the girls exits the train and bends down. Subsequently, several passengers can be seen carrying an unconscious Armita and laying her on the platform.
However, there is no released footage from inside the train or the station entrance.
Human rights group Hengaw, which focuses on Iran’s Kurdish ethnic minority, alleged that Armita was “physically attacked by authorities… for what they perceived as non-compliance with the compulsory ‘hijab'”. “As a result,” it added, “she sustained severe injuries.”
However, the managing director of the Tehran metro denied that there was “any verbal or physical conflict” between Armita and “passengers or metro executives”.
Hengaw later shared what they claimed to be a photograph of Armita in a hospital, depicting an unconscious girl lying in bed with a bandaged head and connected to what appeared to be a breathing tube.
On Sunday, the state broadcaster IRINN reported that “updates regarding Armita Geravand’s current health status strongly suggest that she is brain dead, despite the dedicated efforts of the medical staff.”
Just eight days prior, Hengaw had reported that the teenager remained in a coma with no signs of improvement in her condition.
In a separate development on the same day, a Revolutionary Court handed down substantial prison sentences to two female journalists who had covered the story of Mahsa Amini’s death in the previous year.
Niloufar Hamedi and Elaheh Mohammadi were sentenced to seven years and six years in prison respectively after being convicted of “collaborating with the hostile American government” and “colluding against national security”, state news agency Irna said.
The women denied the charges and insisted that they were just doing their jobs.
Ms Hamedi, a journalist with the Sharq newspaper, photographed Mahsa Amini’s father and grandmother hugging each other in hospital after learning of her death. She posted it on Twitter with the caption: “The black dress of mourning has become our national flag.”
Ms. Mohammadi, a journalist working for the Hammihan newspaper, authored an article detailing the funeral of Ms. Amini in her hometown of Saqqez.
In her report, she recounted the scenes of hundreds of mourners chanting “Woman, life, freedom,” which later became one of the central slogans of the protests.
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