Iran’s controversial morality police have been accused of beating a girl found not wearing a hijab so badly she was left in a coma.
Human rights group Hengaw alleged that 16-year-old Armita Geravand was subjected on Sunday to a “severe physical assault” by morality police officers.
The teenager collapsed shortly after boarding a train at Shohada metro station in Tehran.
Officials claimed she fainted and released CCTV footage in which she can be seen being carried outside a train while unconscious.
The video, which doesn’t show either footage taken inside of the train or at the entrance of the station and only displays the events that happened on the platform, also reportedly shows Armita walking, without a headscarf, near the carriage alongside two other girls.
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Moments after they boarded the train, one of the girls can be reportedly seen backing out and bending down before being aided by other passengers holding the unconscious body of Armita.
The teenager has since been treated at Fajr hospital under strict security, Hengaw claimed, adding all her family members had their phones confiscated.
The group, which focuses on supporting members of the Kurdish ethnic minority in Iran much like Armita, claimed: “[She] was physically attacked by authorities at Shohada station… for what they perceived as non-compliance with the compulsory ‘hijab’. As a result, she sustained severe injuries and was transported to the hospital.”
The managing director of the Tehran metro, Masood Dorosti, denied reports of conflicts between the girl and other “passengers or metro executives”, branding the claim Armita had been attacked as untrue.
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On Tuesday night, the group shared on X, formerly Twitter, a picture which they claimed portrays Armita lying in a coma in hospital with a bandaged head and what appears to be a breathing tube.
Following the incident, Armita’s parents were interviewed by Iran’s state news agency Irna.
The girl’s mother was quoted saying she had seen the CCTV footage and had accepted the tragedy as an “accident”.
In a video the BBC described as heavily edited, the woman said: “I think my daughter’s blood pressure dropped, I am not too sure, I think they have said her pressure dropped.”
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Hengaw, however, alleged the girl’s parents were interviewed by Irna “under considerable pressure at Fajr Hospital” and in the presence of security officers.
Iranian morality police officers are tasked with enforcing the country’s strict dress code for women.
Under Iranian law, based on the country’s interpretation of Sharia, women have to cover their hair with a hijab and cover their figures with loose-fitting clothes.
But following the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who died in hospital three days after being detained by officers for allegedly wearing her hijab improperly, women, particularly young girls, have taken part in mass protests and bravely waged war on these restrictive rules and the Iranian regime, with some choosing to ditch their headscarves altogether.
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