Girl Reportedly Beaten by 'Morality Police' Is Brain-Dead

Armita Geravand reportedly unlikely to recover
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 4, 2023 2:08 PM CDT
Updated Oct 23, 2023 1:30 AM CDT
UPDATE Oct 23, 2023 1:30 AM CDT

Iranian state media reported Sunday that the teenage girl reportedly beaten into a coma for not wearing a hijab on the subway is brain-dead. Armita Geravand is reportedly unlikely to recover, NBC News reports. The Guardian notes the news could revive the protests that followed the death of another young woman at the hands of the country's "morality police" last year. Authorities deny Geravand's beating, and say her current state of health is the result of pre-existing conditions, the BBC reports.

Oct 4, 2023 2:08 PM CDT

A year after the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in the custody of Iran's "morality police" sparked months of protests, the alleged beating of a 16-year-old girl in Tehran could turn out to be a similar flashpoint. The human rights group Hengaw says Armita Geravand was beaten by police on a subway train for not wearing the mandatory hijab, the BBC reports. Activists say the "severe physical assault" put the girl in a coma, and she is being held under tight security at a hospital in the capital, reports Reuters. Hengaw tweeted a photo of Tuesday that it said showed Armita unconscious in the hospital.

Officials told a different story, saying the girl fainted and hit her head in the subway cabin. They released surveillance footage that showed her being carried from the train. In a heavily edited video released on state-run TV, Armita's mother said the girl's blood pressure dropped and the family accepts that it was an accident. Hengaw says Armita's parents were interviewed at the hospital "in the presence of high-ranking security officers under considerable pressure." Right groups are calling for authorities to release footage from inside the subway car.

story continues below

Annalena Baerbock, Germany's foreign minister, said a young Iranian girl is once again "fighting for her life. Just because she showed her hair in the subway. It is unbearable." The BBC notes that activists see parallels with the Amini case. State TV claimed that she suffered a heart problem after she was detained for not wearing a hijab, but witnesses said she was beaten in a police van before she was taken to a hospital. (More Iran stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.