A 16-year-old Iranian girl has fallen into a coma after an “attack” in the Tehran subway and is being treated at a hospital under close monitoring, a human rights organization for Iranian Kurds said on Tuesday.
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According to the Norway-based NGO Hengaw, the teenager named Armita Garawand was seriously injured in a subway altercation with female members of the vice squad. The girl originally comes from the city of Kermanshah in the predominantly Kurdish west of Iran and lives in Tehran, according to Hengaw.
On Monday, Iran’s official IRNA news agency said a 16-year-old student fainted after a “voltage drop” in the subway on Sunday. Tehran Metro General Manager Masood Dorosti denied any “verbal or physical altercation” between the teenager “and passengers or subway executives.”
Iranian authorities remain on alert, just over a year after the death in custody of Mahsa Amini, a young Iranian Kurdish woman who was arrested by police for allegedly violating strict dress codes for women in Iran, including wearing the Veil, which is mandatory in Iran, is public.
His death sparked protests that lasted several months before losing momentum amid a crackdown that left more than 550 protesters dead, according to the group Iran Human Rights (IHR). Mahsa Amini’s family says she died from a blow to the head, something authorities deny.
According to Hengaw, “Armita Garawand, a 16-year-old girl, has been in a coma since Sunday, October 1, after she sustained serious injuries in an attack by female vice police officers in Shohada subway in Tehran.”
The young girl is being treated at the Fajr Hospital under maximum security and “no visits are currently allowed, not even from her family,” the group added, specifying that police officers believed the teenager did not respect the headscarf.
Maryam Lotfi, a journalist with the Shargh daily, went to the hospital the day after the incident and was briefly detained, according to Hengaw.
The case has fueled discussions on social networks, with an alleged video that some believe shows the teenager being pushed by policewomen on the subway with friends and apparently without a veil.
The IranWire news site based outside Iran quoted a source as saying she was “injured in the head” after being pushed by the agents.