A 16-year-old girl in Iran’s capital Tehran is in a coma after being allegedly assaulted by the country’s controversial “morality police”. The incident has brought back memories of Mahsa Amini’s death last year which sparked nationwide protests.

The teen is currently being treated at Fajr Air Force Hospital in Tehran under heavy security.

According to the Kurdish-focused Hengaw Organisation for Human Rights, the teen was subjected to a “severe physical assault” after being apprehended and attacked by female morality police officers at Tehran’s Shohada metro station on Sunday.

The girl, identified as Armita Garawand, was badly injured after being targeted for not wearing a hijab (headscarf), reported The Telegraph citing the rights group.

The victim is originally from Kermanshah, a city in Kurdish-dominated western Iran, but resides in Tehran, the rights group said, as per the British newspaper.

According to Hengaw, currently, there are “no visits allowed” for Garawand who is hospitalised, “not even from her family”.

Maryam Lotfi, a journalist from the Shargh daily newspaper, was briefly detained when she tried to visit the hospital, as per an AFP report.

The rights organisation also shared what it said were pictures of Garawand lying in a hospital bed and her head and neck covered in bandages. A feeding tube can be seen attached to her mouth.

According to the news site IranWire, based outside Iran, the student sustained a “head injury” after allegedly being pushed by the officers.

London-based Iranian journalist Farzad Seifikaran wrote on X on 2 October that a schoolgirl and her friends were stopped by police for allegedly not wearing hijabs. Seifikaran said that the girl was pushed down by the police, which led to her hitting her head and losing consciousness.

Authorities, the girl’s parents deny assault

Iranian authorities claimed that the teen “fainted” due to low blood pressure which resulted in Garawand hitting the side of the metro carriage. They have also denied any involvement of the security forces, AFP reported.

Masood Dorosti, managing director of the Tehran subway system, claimed there was not “any verbal or physical conflict” between the teen and “passengers or metro executives”.

“Some rumours about a confrontation with metro agents … are not true and CCTV footage refutes this claim,” Dorosti told state news agency IRNA.

Fars, the Iranian government’s official news agency, published an interview with the student’s parents, who denied their child was attacked.

“We have checked all the videos and it has been proven for us that this incident was an accident. We request people to pray for our child’s recovery,” the girl’s father can be heard saying, as per The Guardian.

“As they say, her blood pressure has dropped,” her mother claimed, as per ABC News.

However, not everyone is convinced by the parent’s denial. Many pointed out that Iranian authorities have released “forced” interviews in the past with family members of victims killed or hurt by security forces.

There are accusations that Garawand’s parents were coerced into speaking, reported The Guardian.

Footage of the incident

Iran’s state-run media released edited footage of the girl, apparently unconscious, being carried out of the train carriage by her friends. The grainy video does not show if the girls were wearing hijabs or not. As ABC News noted, no video from inside the train carriage has yet been released.

A purported video of the incident shows the teen being “pushed” into the metro by female police agents and then pulled out of the metro car, in possibly an unconscious state, is also doing the rounds on social media, reported AFP.

Source » firstpost