Iranian teen in coma after morality police assault, alleges rights group

TEHRAN, Oct 5: In Iran, a 16-year-old schoolgirl has been hospitalised after an incident in the Tehran metro.   

Norway-based organisation Hengaw reported on Tuesday that the country’s “morality police” had subjected Armita Garawand to “severe physical assault” in a carriage of the metro. The incident is said to have been triggered by an alleged violation of the strict dress code.

Garawand was in a coma and under guard at a military hospital, Hengaw said in a statement.

According to local media, the schoolgirl was taken to hospital on Sunday after she fell unconscious on the metro. Iranian media said the girl lost her balance due to a drop in blood pressure and hit her head against the edge of the train. Her friends then carried her out of the metro carriage and called the emergency services, according to official reports.

State-run media released a short edited video from the metro station which they said showed the incident. The footage showed a group of women wearing headscarves entering a metro carriage and carrying an unconscious person out a few seconds later.

The daily newspaper Shargh reported that a journalist was temporarily detained on her way to the hospital. She had wanted to inquire about the health of the injured teenager.

On social media, users wrote that they were reminded of the case of the Iranian-Kurdish woman Jina Mahsa Amini whose death in police custody sparked Iran’s worst protests in decades in 2022.