Home iran With 16-Year-Old In Coma, Iran Faces Another Mahsa Amini Scenario

With 16-Year-Old In Coma, Iran Faces Another Mahsa Amini Scenario

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Security is tense around a Tehran hospital where a teenage girl is comatose following an encounter with hijab enforcers, a scenario similar to the night Mahsa Amini died.

On Sunday, Armita Geravand lost consciousness when her head hit a pole, reportedly following a dispute over her hijab with hijab enforcers who shoved her against a pole inside a subway car in Tehran. On Tuesday night, Hengaw Organization for Human Rights, a Kurdish rights group, published a photo of her in the Fajr hospital’s intensive care unit, still in a coma, while security forces have surrounded the hospital to prevent people from gathering and protesting.

The regime has deployed hijab police to all subway stations across Tehran as Iran intensifies the enforcement of hijab, which has become extremely stringent since last September when 22-year-old Iranian-Kurdish woman Mahsa Amini died in police custody, sparking the Women, Life, Freedom protests. Geravand is from Kermanshah, a city with a significant Kurdish population.

Armita Geravand at the Fajr hospital’s intensive care unit on October 4, 2023

Authorities are handling the situation exactly as they did in the case of Mahsa Amini. They arrested the journalist who wanted to report on Geravand’s situation and aired a video of her parents at the hospital who apparently described the situation as an accident.

In the video, described by a large number of Iranians on social media as “forced confessions,” Armita’s mother said, fighting back tears, “I think she fell… I think they said she collapsed, fell to the ground, her head hit the edge of a subway platform, and her friends took her out…”

Authorities in Iran have repeatedly resorted to airing forced confessions of family members to dodge responsibility for the deaths of people during protests and in detention.

According to the reformist newspaper Shargh, reporter Maryam Lotfi, who followed the victim to the hospital to report the incident, was arrested. She was said to have been released on Monday evening. The main journalists who reported on the death of Mahsa Amini, interviewed her parents, and attended her funeral have been in prison for about a year now.

Masoud Dorosti, the CEO of the Tehran Metro Operation Company, claimed that Geravand’s loss of consciousness was likely due to a drop in blood pressure and asserted that there is no recorded footage of her fainting by anyone, including metro staff.

Armita Geravand

Iranian state media released a short video on Monday in which an unconscious girl is being pulled out from inside a subway car, but there is no footage of her entering the metro, getting inside the car, or the moment she lost consciousness. There are numerous cameras at various spots in metro stations, including inside the cars, as the regime seeks to use the footage against those who defy mandatory hijab rules.

According to a popular social media account, all the footage from the last 24 hours of Tehran’s metro has been handed over to the Intelligence Organization of the Revolutionary Guards (SAS).

Iranians have been extensively posting to raise awareness about Armita Geravand, making the hashtag of her name in Persian trendy on X (formerly Twitter) with about 300,000 retweets.