Armita Geravand and a CCTV image of her being taken unconscious from a Tehran underground train, October 1, 2023
UPDATE, NOV 5:
In the Iranian regime’s latest persecution of the Baha’i religious minority, the Court of Appeal in Mazandaran Province in northern Iran has confirmed prison sentences and fines on 14 members.
Sanaz Hekmatshe’ar and Bita Haghighi were each given two years in prison. The other 12 members were ordered to pay a fine of 50 million tomans ($1,000) each.
The defendants were arrest on August 31, 2022, in the city of Qaemshahr. They were charged with “engaging in educational or propaganda activities contrary to Sharia law of Islam”.
Lawyers weere only informed orally of the sentences and were prevented from attending proceedings.
Since the creation of the Islamic Republic in 1979, Baha’is have been systematically persecuted with imprisonment, loss of property and assets, and denial of higher education.
The Baha’i International Community reports that, since March 2023, approximately 180 Baha’is have been arrested in Iran, including a 90-year-old man, Jamaloddin Khanjani, who was detained and interrogated for two weeks.
The Baha'i community is one of the most severely… pic.twitter.com/uc1xvgC8cU
— IranHumanRights.org (@ICHRI) November 5, 2023
UPDATE 1600 GMT:
Kurdish political prisoner Sakine Parvaneh has been given a 7 1/2-year sentence by a Revolutionary Court for “propaganda against the state”, “assembly and collusion”, and “insulting the Supreme Leader”.
Her “crime” was attending the grave of of Ali Mozaffari, who was killed during the nationwide “Woman. Life. Freedom” demonstrations after the death in policy custody of Mahsa Amini.
Her court hearing was conducted without the presence of her lawyer.
UPDATE, NOV. 4:
Iran’s authorities are deploying “hijab enforcers” on the campus of Tehran University and the streets surrounding the capital’s Amir Kabir University.
More than 50 female students at Tehran University are facing reprimands and suspensions for allegedly failing to adhere to regulations for compulsory hijab.
The Student Guild Councils of Iran said on Thursday that dozens of female students have been summoned to the disciplinary committee in the past week, facing penalties from reprimands to suspensions.
The enforcers are also preventing students whose dress does not meet their standards from entering university premises.
The student newsletter at Amir Kabir University reported “violent encounters” when security patrols and hijab enforcers challenged female students. In one recent incident, security forces allegedly attacked a female student whose hijab had momentarily slipped, attempting to confiscate her student ID.
UPDATE 1758 GMT:
An award-winning doctor has been forced to apologize on State TV after she accepted her honor while not wearing hijab.
Dr. Fatemeh Rajaei-Rad had been honored in a ceremony in Amol in northern Iran. She was castigated and threatened after a video circulated of the event.
The government of the Islamic Republic of Iran persists in enforcing its mandatory hijab law upon women through a range of punitive and degrading measures. The latest incident involves Dr. Fatemeh Rajaei-Rad, who was seen in a video published by state media, offering a "sincere"… pic.twitter.com/6fToDLGRpk
— IranHumanRights.org (@ICHRI) November 3, 2023
UPDATE, NOV 3:
Eight UN experts have expressed “shock” over the October 29 death of Armita Geravand, the 16-year-old who was in a four-week coma after she was accosted by a “hijab enforcer” in a Tehran underground station.
The experts called for an “independent, prompt, and impartial” investigation into the incident. They emphasized that women and girls “should not be punished for wearing or not wearing any specific piece of clothing, and should certainly not be at risk of losing their lives for doing so”.
We remain concerned and alarmed by the ongoing policies and practices in Iran which amount to total impunity for acts of gender persecution against women and girls, and urge the Government to put an end to them….
We are aware of reprisals against other women, including celebrities, for refusing to comply with the mandatory dress code….[Some women] have lost their jobs or been sentenced to jail, while others have been ordered to perform forced labor.
The UN team wrote of their “grave concern and disappointment” over the failure of authorities to conduct independent investigations into the deaths of women and girls during the months of nationwide protests after the death in police custody of Mahsa Amini in September 2022.
UPDATE, NOV 2:
Mahsa Yazdani, whose 20-year-old son Mohammad Javad Zahedi was shot and killed by Iranian security forces during nationwide protests in September 2022, has been given a 13-year prison sentence over her social media posts.
Yazdani’s “crime” was to call for justice for her son. She was convicted on charges of blasphemy, incitement, insulting the Supreme Leader, and spreading anti-regime propaganda.
She will serve the first five years in prison with no chance of parole.
Zahedi was slain in the initial days of demonstrations over the death in police custody of Mahsa Amini, who was detained and reportedly beaten by “morality police” in Tehran over “inappropriate attire”. Videos and photos of his body, riddled with shotgun pellets, indicated he was shot several times at close range in the back and head.
Yazdani was arrested at her home on August 22. After her sentence was announced, her daughter Mitra Zahedi posted on Instagram, “What will happen to my three-year-old brother? Who is responsible for all this cruelty?”
Iranian authorities have harassed, arrested, and prosecuted a series of family members of slain protesters. Others have been told that they face prison if they speak out.
UPDATE 1456 GMT:
Nobel Prize laureate and political prisoner Narges Mohammadi has urged Iranians to continue with the “unstoppable process” of dismantling a “religious authoritarian regime”.
Mohammadi smuggled the message out of her cell in Tehran’s Evin Prison. It was read out by her 17-year-old daughter, Kiana Rahmani:
Iranians demand democracy, freedom, human rights, and equality, and the Islamic Republic is the main obstacle in the way of realizing these national demands.
We… are struggling to transition away from this religious authoritarian regime through solidarity and drawing on the power of a nonviolent and unstoppable process in order to revive the honor and pride of Iran and human dignity and prestige for its people.
Victory is not easy, but it is certain.
UPDATE, NOV 1:
Iran authorities have seized political prisoners at Sunday’s funeral of Armita Geravand, 16.
Geravand died last Saturday after a four-week coma. She fell unconscious after she was accosted by a “hijab enforcer” on a train in a Tehran underground station.
Among those detained was human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh, who has been repeatedly imprisoned by the Iranian regime since September 2010.
Sotoudeh was beaten and has been transferred to Qarchak prison, notorious for inhumane conditions. She has started a hunger and medication strike.
Other detainees include Masud Zeynalzadeh of the Iran Teachers Union and Manzar Zarabi, a mother advocating for justice over the January 2020 downing of a Ukrainian jet by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards which killed 176 passengers and crew.
Sotoudeh’s husband Reza Khandan said the charges against the women will not be disclosed until after their official interrogation. He said both Zarabi and Sotoudeh had resisted wearing hijab.
UPDATE 0758 GMT:
Journalists in Iran say they have been blocked from covering the death of Armita Geravand.
Saturday’s news of Geravand’s demise was put out by State news agency IRNA, which ignored the reported cause of her four-week coma: an assault by a “hijab enforcer” in a Tehran underground station.
Maryam Shokrani of Shargh tweeted, “They did not allow us to report about the child of [our] motherland.”
Saeed Arkanzadeh posted that the regime is trying to control public opinion by ensuring that its narrative of Geravand’s coma and death is the only one in circulation.
“Is it really that simple?” he asked.
Mohammad Bagherzadeh and Ghazal Hazraty spent 10 days following up on the story of the reported assault of Geravand and her condition. While Iran’s Deputy Press Secretary said there was no prohibition on their journalism, security guards demanded a permit. School officials, the head of the hospital where Geravand lay, and staff of the Tehran underground refused to talk. The teenager’s family was forbidden from meeting the journalists.
Earlier this week, Iranian human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh, herself a former political prisoner, tenderly bestowed her Civil Courage Prize upon "Armita Geravand and her mother."
Only a few days later, Armita was pronounced dead.
May the winds of freedom swiftly embrace… pic.twitter.com/eGBIr3jfeB
— IranHumanRights.org (@ICHRI) October 28, 2023
UPDATE, OCT 29:
The family of 16-year-old Armita Geravand says they are being forced to bury her in Tehran, rather than her native village in Kermanshah Province in western Iran.
Geravand died on Saturday after a coma of almost four weeks. She was gravely injured when she was reportedly accosted by a “hijab enforcer” on a train in a Tehran underground station.
A relative said security officers told the family that they would only be given Geramand’s body if the burial was held in the Iranian capital’s Behesht-e Zahra Cemetery.
On Saturday, the teenager’s body had still not been released, despite the surrender to the demands of the security services.
On Thursday, security forces detained two relatives of Ali Rouzbahani, killed during nationwide protests last year, for several hours as they prevented anyone visiting his graves.
Memorial services for slain protesters were also obstructed in cities including Arak, Sanandaj, Mahabad, Rasht, and Tehran.
ORIGINAL ENTRY, OCT 28: Armita Geravand, 16, has died almost four weeks after she was accosted by a “hijab enforcer” on a train in a Tehran underground station.
Geravand had been in a coma since the incident on October 1. Earlier this week, she was declared “brain dead”.
State outlet IRNA posted, “Unfortunately, the brain damage led to the victim spending some time in a coma and she died a few minutes ago.”
Geravand, accompanied by two friends, was reportedly stopped by a female “hijab enforcer” as the teenager entered the underground train with her head uncovered. She was allegedly pushed down, hitting her head and falling unconscious.
Although trains have CCTV, no footage was ever released from inside the carriage. The video from the station, edited by authorities, showed Geravand’s friends pulling the teenager onto the platform.
Geravand’s relatives have been paraded on State media to support the regime account that she collapsed from low blood pressure. However, activists note that — as in other cases, including that of Mahsa Amini, whose death in police custody in September 2022 sparked nationwide protests — family members are often coerced into making the statements.
Witnesses told the Guardian that the chador-clad hijab enforcer screamed at Geravand asking her why was she not covered. The teen responded, “Do I ask you to remove your headscarf? Why are you asking me to wear one?” The enforcer then assaulted Geravand, violently pushing her to the ground.
Another witness said Geravand 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.