A 16-year-old girl was left in a coma after reportedly being assaulted by Iran’s notorious morality police on a subway in Tehran for failing to wear her hijab properly, a rights group revealed on Tuesday, in a case reminiscent of Mahsa Amini’s death in custody last year.

Witnesses say Armita Garawand, a Tehran resident from the city of Kermanshah in Iran’s mainly Kurdish west, was attacked by morality police officers at the Shohada station of the Tehran Metro on Sunday. The Iranian Hengaw Organization for Human Rights, a Norway-based group that monitors abuses in Iranian Kurdistan, said it received reports that Garawand was severely injured and lost consciousness before she was transferred to the Fajr Hospital in the capital.

She is being kept under tight security conditions and visits are forbidden even to her family, sources told Hengaw.

Read more: https://www.al-monitor.com/originals/2023/10/iranian-girl-coma-after-alleged-assault-hijab-police#ixzz8FFYRpQjP

The rights group said on Wednesday that government security agents seized the phones of all family members after images of Garawand in the hospital circulated in the media.

Iranian authorities have yet to comment on the news. But regime-affiliated media outlets have claimed that the 16-year-old collapsed at the metro station due to low blood pressure.

In a brief interview with the state news agency IRNA on Tuesday, Garawand’s mother said her daughter was going to school with her friends that day and was told that her blood pressure dropped, causing her to fall and hit her head on the subway.

IRNA shared video footage from the metro security cameras showing an unidentified unconscious girl being carried outside the subway.

The case has raised concerns among rights groups and activists that Garawand will meet the same fate as Amini, a 22-year-old Iranian Kurd who died in a Tehran hospital on Sept. 16, 2022, after falling into a coma while in detention. She had been arrested a few days earlier by the morality police for allegedly improperly wearing her hijab.

Amini’s death sparked widespread protests that quickly evolved from focusing on women’s rights to demanding the fall of the Iranian regime.

Authorities responded violently to the popular protests, killing dozens and arresting thousands of others. Rights groups have repeatedly sounded the alarm over a spike in executions of protesters, activists, minorities and opponents of the regime. According to data by the Oslo-based group Iran Human Rights, 528 people have been executed in Iran this year so far, including 13 women.

Read more: https://www.al-monitor.com/originals/2023/10/iranian-girl-coma-after-alleged-assault-hijab-police#ixzz8FFYUXwOH

Source » al-monitor