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Surveillance video shows women pulling 16-year-old Armita Gerawand out of a Tehran metro car

Photo: AP

An Iranian teenager who fell into a coma earlier this month after an alleged altercation with police officers is said to be "brain dead." This is reported by Iranian state media.

The case of 16-year-old schoolgirl Armita Garawand had caused great outrage at the beginning of October. The young woman had been in a coma for weeks. According to reports by human rights activists, she clashed with the morality guards in a subway because she was not wearing a headscarf.

State media denied violence on the part of the morality police. Garawand fell due to low blood pressure and hit his head, according to the official statement.

Garawand's fate reminds many Iranians of the case of the young Iranian Kurdish woman Jina Mahsa Amini, who was arrested by the morality guards in autumn 2022 for allegedly wearing an ill-fitting headscarf. Amini fell into a coma and died. Her death last year sparked the most serious protests in decades. Since then, many women have demonstratively ignored the headscarf requirement.

Groups such as the Kurdish-Iranian Hengaw were the first to publicize Armita Geravand's hospitalization. They published photos of the 16-year-old girl, in which she can be seen unconscious with a breathing tube and bandage over her head, apparently on life support machines. The images have not yet been independently verified.

Iran's theocratic leadership had restricted women's clothing after a popular revolution in 1979 overthrew the secular and Western-backed Shah. Women are required by law to cover their hair and wear long, loose-fitting clothing. Anyone who violates this must expect public reprimand, fines or arrest.