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Armita Geravand died: Iran counts another martyr

Armita Geravand, the girl who was in a coma after being allegedly beaten by the morality police, has died.

The news was shared by IRNA, the Iranian state media, last Saturday with the statement: “Unfortunately, the brain damage led to the victim spending some time in a coma and they died a few minutes ago.”

The 16-year-old had fallen into a coma after the events of October 1st, and lately her condition had worsened, until she was declared brain dead last week.

On that date, she was seen entering an underground train in Tehran with some friends, with her short black hair uncovered by the traditional hijab. Footage from the station shows the girl boarding the train followed by her friends and then being carried out, unconscious, by the other girls. She was then laid down on the platform as the train left, and bystanders came to help the group. 

First responders were soon called and then the girl was transferred to Fajr Air Force hospital, a military hospital, where her room was guarded by security guards. This made it difficult for her family to visit her and for journalists to shed light on what had happened.

The Hengaw Organization for Human Rights, which condemns the violation of human rights specifically in the Kurdish regions in west of Iran, denounced the killing of Armita at the hands of the morality police. They also accused the regime of having coerced confessions from her family.

Iranian media who interviewed people close to the scene, reported that Armita argued with officers who were enforcing hijab rules in the train and who then pushed her. The girl allegedly fell onto a metal object on the train and fell unconscious, reporting a cerebral haemorrhage. 

The Iranian government denied all allegations of the police attacking the girl, and instead stated that she fainted due to a drop in blood sugar after skipping breakfast. 

Her parents, interviewed by IRNA, Iranian news agency, confirmed, in shock, the government’s side, saying: “My daughter, I think her blood pressure, I don’t know what, I think they say that her blood pressure dropped, and then she fell down, and her head hit the edge of the metro,” said her mother, Shahin Ahmadi.

Her father, Ahmad Geravand, said Armita was a healthy girl and did not have any medical conditions nor used any medication. 

Armita was an art student at a vocational art and design high school and lived in a working-class neighbourhood in West Tehran. 

On October 9, the Iranian journalist Masih Alinejad posted a video on Instagram where she is seen confronting a female morality police officer on the train. In the video she can be heard shouting: “You killed Armita Geravand yesterday, wait for the news of her death.”

To answer the accusations, the officer shouted back: “That’s right, we killed her. We were right, she deserved it.”

Almost three weeks later, the news of her death came, but its cause still remains unsure, while the Hengaw Organization for Human Rights called for an inquiry into the killing of Garavand, to be carried out by an independent medical team.

The event in the underground train occurred a year after the death of Mahsa Amini, and protests had already reignited for the anniversary of the young Kurdish girl's death. Businesses closed to join the protest against the regime, and people demonstrated in many world capitals.

The Iranian government has also recently passed a law to increase punishments for women who do not wear the headscarf in public. This law also applies to businesses that serve these women and activists who protest against the regime. Punishments include up to 10 years in prison for organised offences. 



Cover picture: Zamaneh Media


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