Mystery injury turns fatal for Iranian teen not wearing headscarf on subway, says state media

An Iranian teenage girl injured weeks ago on Tehran’s Metro while not wearing a headscarf has died, Iranian state media reported Saturday.

The death of Armita Geravand comes after her being in a coma for weeks in Tehran, and the one-year anniversary of the death of Mahsa Amini that sparked nationwide protests.

Iran’s state-run IRNA news agency reported her death.

What happened in the few seconds after 16-year-old Geravand entered the train on Oct. 1 remains a mystery.

While a friend told Iranian state television that she hit her head on the station’s platform, the soundless footage aired by the broadcaster from outside of the car is blocked by a bystander. Just seconds later, her limp body is carried off.

Geravand’s mother and father appeared in state media footage saying a blood pressure issue, a fall or perhaps both contributed to their daughter’s injury.

International attention

Activists abroad have alleged Geravand may have been pushed or attacked because she was not wearing the hijab. They also demanded an independent investigation by the United Nations’ fact-finding mission on Iran, citing the theocracy’s use of pressure on victims’ families and state TV’s history of airing hundreds of coerced confessions.

The IRNA report did not touch on any of the controversy surrounding Geravand’s injury.

“Unfortunately, the brain damage to the victim caused her to spend some time in a coma and she died a few minutes ago,” the IRNA report read. “According to the official theory of Armita Geravand’s doctors, after a sudden drop in blood pressure, she suffered a fall, a brain injury, followed by continuous convulsions, decreased cerebral oxygenation and a cerebral edema.”

Geravand’s injury also came as Iran has put its morality police — whom activists implicate in Amini’s death — back on the street, and as lawmakers push to enforce even stricter penalties for those flouting the required head covering.

Amini died in a hospital on Sept. 16, 2022, after she was detained by Iranian morality police on allegations of improperly wearing the hijab. Suspicions that she was beaten during her arrest led to mass protests that represented the largest challenge to Iran’s theocratic government since the revolution.

Since those large-scale protests subsided, many women in Tehran could be seen without the hijab in defiance of the law.

WATCH | Why there are comparisons to Mahsa Amini’s death: 

An Iranian girl is in a coma: Why activists are comparing it to the Mahsa Amini case | About That

Featured VideoAn Iranian teenager is in a coma after an alleged encounter with Iran’s morality police. Some have drawn comparisons to Mahsa Amini, whose death sparked a nationwide movement against the Islamic Republic. About That producer Kieran Oudshoorn breaks down what we know about Armita Geravand’s case, and the similarities to what happened with Mahsa Amini.

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