Armita Geravand, 16, and a CCTV still of a girl being carried unconscious in a Tehran metro station, October 1, 2023
UPDATE, OCT 10:
More than 120 Iranians, including medical professionals, lawyers, activists, and injured protesters have called for the immediate release of Dr. Yaser Rahmanirad, detained since September 21 over his provision of medical care to demonstrators.
Authorities have threatened medics throughout the nationwide protests since the death in police of Mahsa Amini — detained and reportedly beaten by “morality police” — on September 16, 2022. Radiologist Hamid Ghareh Hasanlou and his wife Farzaneh, a lab technician, have been sentenced to 15 and 5 years, respectively.
The signatories of the letter call upon the UN’s independent Fact-Finding Mission on Iran to investigate the case of Dr. Rahminirad.
He provided medical services to injured protesters without discrimination, prioritizing their human rights. His compassionate solidarity and support instilled hope and confidence in those wounded, especially those who had been blinded as a result of gunshot injuries, fostering the belief in the possibility of a brighter future.
Dr. Rahmanirad continued to assist individuals suffering from severe and ongoing pain due to the presence of numerous toxic lead bullets in various parts of their bodies, the nervous system, and among their bones. Many of them refrained from seeking medical care at traditional facilities due to security concerns and the fear of arrests, compounded by economic hardships.
UPDATE, OCT 8:
Prominent activist Majid Tavakoli has been imprisoned again by the Iranian regime.
Tavakoli was seized and put in handcuffs on Saturday to serve a 5-year sentence for “spreading propaganda against the state”.
His wife Maryam posted a brief poem on X about the day separating her from her heart.
The couple have a 3-year-old child.
Tavakoli told The Guardian just before he was taken away, “The prospect of a return to jail makes me fragile and weak, since there is so much love in my family.”
The activist has already spent seven years in prison, including a year in solitary confinement and a four-year ban on making phone calls.
UPDATE 0606 GMT:
Amnesty International is calling on Iran to allow the UN Fact-Finding Mission and other independent monitors to enter the country and investigate the circumstances behind the hospitalization and coma of 16-year-old Armita Geravand.
Amnesty notes “mounting evidence of a cover up by the authorities” after the reported assault on Geravand in a Tehran underground station by a “hijab enforcer”.
The organization cites the security force around Geravand’s hospital and the arrest of journalist Maryam Lotfi as she tried to enter the facility, and the “propaganda videos” on State TV with “Geravand’s visibly distressed parents and friends reluctantly reiterating the state narrative that she collapsed due to low blood pressure”.
It counters the footage shown on State outlet with analysis of an increase in the video frame rate in four sections and a gap of 3 minutes and 16 seconds.
Diana Eltahawy, Amnesty’s Deputy Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa, linked the cover-up to that after the death in police custody of Masha Amini, 22, following her detention and reported beating by “morality police” in September 2022.
Iranian authorities are waging a concerted campaign of denial and distortion to cover up the truth about the circumstances that led to Armita Geravand’s collapse, chillingly reminiscent of their bogus narratives and unplausible explanations of Mahsa/Zhina Amini’s hospitalization just over a year ago.
UPDATE, OCT 7:
In a conversation with EA, Deepa Parent — who has added detail to the case of Armita Geravand with her interviews with witnesses — has explained that the teenager was assaulted by a “hijab enforcer” and not a member of the “morality police”.
Parent explained that the “hijab enforcement” units were created last year. They have the authority to stop anyone in a public space and demand that “appropriate attire” be worn. Refusal could lead to prosecution.
The entry has been edited to make this clarification.
UPDATE 1429 GMT:
Witnesses have given more information to The Guardian about the alleged assault by a “hijab enforcer” on Armita Garavand, 16 — who is now in a coma in hospital — in a Tehran underground station on Sunday morning
One witness said that, soon after Armita entered a train carriage, a female hijab enforcer started arguing with her because the teenager was not wearing a headscarf.
The chador-clad woman screamed at her asking her why was she not covered.
Armita then told her, “Do I ask you to remove your headscarf? Why are you asking me to wear one?”
Their argument then turned violent. The hijab enforcer started physically attacking Armita and…violently pushed her.
Another witness said Armita was still conscious when she fell on the ground, contradicting the account of Iranian officials that she blacked out from low blood pressure. Witnesses said they spotted the hijab enforcer, who had sparked the confrontation, waiting behind the ambulance that took Geravand to the hospital.
Activists are asking for the release of the full CCTV footage, rather than the edited version on State outlets. The clip on State TV has no footage from inside the train, even though there are multiple CCTV cameras in the carriages. The activists, using a clock in the footage, say at least 100 seconds is missing.
UPDATE 1412 GMT:
The Kurdish rights group Hengaw says Iranian security forces have arrested the mother of Armita Geravand, who is in a coma in hospital after an alleged assault by a “hijab enforcer” in a Tehran underground station.
— Hengaw Organization for Human Rights (@Hengaw_English) October 5, 2023
Iran’s judiciary denied that Shahin Ahmadi had been detained. It declared that unidentified enemies are spreading rumors about Geravand’s “loss of consciousness”.
UPDATE, OCT 5:
Iranian teachers’ unions said on Wednesday that the Education Ministry’s security director visited the high school of Armita Geravand, 16, who is reportedly in a coma after she was assaulted by a “hijab enforcer” in a Tehran underground station on Sunday morning.
The unions said the Ministry official warned teachers and staff that they would be fired if they spoke about Geravand, and threatened classmates to ensure their silence.
UPDATE, OCT 4:
Artist and writer Sepideh Rashno has been blocking from attending her own trial in Tehran, after she announced on social media that she would not wear hijab in the courtroom.
Rashno, 28, who is on bail, published a photo of herself with her hair uncovered on Instagram before going to court on Monday morning.
“[I will] defend myself for crimes that I have not committed, to defend the right to choose one’s clothing and to write about the things that have happened to me, to defend the right to be a woman….
I know my family will lose their peace and come under various pressures from all sides, but I know that the picture that you see is the truth and have no other choice than being committed to the truth.
Rashno was arrested on July 16, 2022, after a viral video of a woman verbally assaulting her for being unveiled on public transport. She was coerced tortured into an “confession” on State TV, her face bruised and showing signs of abuse. She was released from Tehran’s Evin prison after about 40 days on bail of about $27,000.
In December the activist was convicted of “association and collusion with the intention of committing a crime against the country’s security” and “propaganda against the Islamic Republic” and given a five-year suspended prison sentence. She was charged again with “promoting moral corruption” and “propaganda against the regime” after a photo of herself, unveiled on social media.
She was also suspended for two terms by her university. “As a citizen, I have the right to choose the clothes I wear,” she wrote in response, saying she would return after her suspension with “her preferred outfit”.
ORIGINAL ENTRY, OCT 3: Iranian activists say Armita Geravand, 16, is in a coma after a beating by Iran’s “morality police” on Sunday morning.
The case is similar to that of Mahsa Amini, 22, who was detained and reportedly beaten by morality police in Tehran on September 13, 2022. She fell into a coma while in custody and died three days later, sparking nationwide protests for “Woman. Life. Freedom” that are ongoing.
London-based Iranian journalist Farzad Seifikaran tweeted that Geravand and her friends were stopped in a Tehran underground station for not wearing hijab. She was allegedly pushed down, hitting her head and falling unconscious.
طبق اخباری که بدستم رسیده یک دختر دبیرستانی را امشب به بیمارستان فجر نیرو هوایی بردن که همراه با دوستانش در مترو مقنعه نداشته و مامورها به اونها گیر میدن و دختر را هُل میدهند و سرش به آهنی برخورد میکند و بیهوش میشود.
فعلا گویا اجازه نمیدهند کسی در بیمارستان به او نزدیک شود.
— Farzad Seifikaran (@FSeifikaran) October 1, 2023
The Kurdish human rights group Hengaw then reported that Geravand sustained a “severe physical assault”. Video showed a girl being carried off a train by others at the station and placed on the platform where she lay still, apparently unconscious.
Hengaw said Geravand — who is from Kermanshah, a city in western Iran with a large Kurdish population — was taken to hospital with weak vital signs. A “source with knowledge” told IranWire that she was in critical condition when she was transported to Fajr Air Force Hospital.
The source claimed that the teenager suffered a “head trauma” after “falling from a level surface”. She “was brought to the hospital in a comatose state with a code 99″, the signal that cardiopulmonary resuscitation is needed.
The Iran regime’s official news agency, IRNA, quickly tried to refute the reports. In its video, Geravand’s mother says that the teenager lost consciousness following a drop in blood pressure. Fars, linked to the Revolutionary Guards, quoted the teenager’s father: “We have checked all the videos and it has been proven for us that this incident was an accident. We request people to pray for our child’s recovery.”
The regime often uses relatives, who had reportedly been coerced or threatened, to deny any wrongdoing by security forces.
Witnesses say there are heightened security measures around Fajr Hospital, including the deployment of extra security personnel. A journalist for the reformist daily Shargh, Maryam Lotfi, was briefly arrested after trying to enter the facility.