More than a year after the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini prompted widespread protests, the alleged assault of a 16-year-old girl by Iran’s “morality police” is renewing criticism of the regime.
Journalists and human rights watchers say that on Sunday, a student named Armita Geravand was taken to the hospital in Tehran after an alleged incident with police officers in a metro station in the city’s southeast.
According to the Hengaw Organization for Human Rights, Geravand has slipped into a coma.
Officials in the Islamic Republic say the girl fainted “due to low blood pressure” and not because of any confrontation with police.
On Sunday, London-based Iranian writer Farzad Seifikaran posted on X that Geravand and her companions were detained by police for not wearing headscarves, sparking rumors that she had been hospitalized. According to Seifikaran, the girl was knocked unconscious after being shoved to the ground by cops.
In a statement, Tehran’s metro authority dismissed reports of a physical attack. The agency has released what appears to be doctored CCTV footage of adolescent girls boarding a railway vehicle without covering their heads. Then, one of the girls is removed from the car, seemingly unconscious. A quick cut later, paramedics arrive and whisk the unconscious girl away.
The next day, The Iranian newspaper Shargh Daily announced that Lotfi had been released.
Amini, now 22, was arrested by the morality police a year ago for allegedly breaking the laws about the mandatory hijab. Amini unexpectedly went into a coma and died in the hospital while being held.
Her untimely murder set up months of widespread, violent protests nationwide.
The regime’s fabrication of a backstory for Armita Geravand is strikingly similar to Mahsa Jina Amini’s. Activist Soran Mansournia said on his X account that the regime responded, “Her pressure plummeted, and her skull hit somewhere, and she is still in a coma.