Iranian teen assaulted by women police ‘likely dead’
TEHRAN: An Iranian teen who was left in a coma after an alleged assault on the Tehran metro by female police officers is likely to be brain dead, Iranian media reported on Sunday.
The condition of Armita Garawand, 16, was first reported on Oct 3 by a Kurdish-focused rights group Hengaw, which said she had been critically wounded during an incident on the metro.
It came just over a year after the death of Mahsa Amini, also a Kurdish Iranian woman, for allegedly breaching Iran’s strict dress code for women in an incident that sparked mass protests across the Islamic republic.
On Sunday, the state-affiliated Borna news agency said it “seems certain” that Garawand was “brain dead”.
According to state news agency IRNA, Garawand fainted due to low blood pressure. But the Hengaw rights group said she had been hurt in a confrontation with female police officers on the metro for allegedly violating Iran’s dress code for women.
It said she is being treated under high security in the Fajr hospital in Tehran, with her parents not allowed a proper visit with her. Her mother Shahin Ahmadi was held near the hospital and taken to an unknown location by security agents, Hengaw said. Garawand lives in Tehran but comes from Kermanshah, a city in Kurdish-western Iran.
“Once again a young woman in Iran is fighting for her life. Just because she showed her hair on the subway,” German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock wrote on X. Abram Paley, the acting US special envoy on Iran, said Washington was “shocked and concerned” about the reports of assault.
But Iran dismissed the criticism. “Instead of interventionist and biased remarks and expressing insincere concern over Iranian women and girls, you’d better be concerned about US, German and UK healthcare personnel (and) patients and tackle their situation,” the foreign ministry spokesman wrote on X.
Published in Dawn, October 23rd, 2023