DUBAI (Reuters) – An Iranian teenage girl who fell into a coma earlier this month after an alleged confrontation with officers over violating the country’s hijab law was said to be “brain dead,” Iranian state media reported on Sunday.
Right-wing groups, such as the Iranian Kurdish Hengaw Organization, were the first to announce Armita Giravand’s hospitalization, posting photos of the 16-year-old on social media that showed her unconscious with a breathing tube and a bandage over her head, clearly seen on life support. . Reuters was unable to verify the images.
Official media reported that “Giravand’s recent health follow-ups indicate that her condition of brain death appears certain, despite the efforts of the medical staff.”
There have been concerns among human rights advocates that Giravand could face the same fate as Mahsa Amini, whose death while in the custody of morality police last year sparked months of nationwide anti-government protests that have posed one of the boldest challenges to Iran’s theocratic rulers.
Iran denied Giravand was injured after an October 1 confrontation with officers enforcing the mandatory Islamic dress code on the Tehran metro.
Iran’s religious establishment has imposed restrictions on women’s dress since a popular revolution toppled the secular, Western-backed Shah in 1979. The law requires women to cover their hair and wear long, loose clothing.
Violators face public reprimand, fines or arrest. In defiance of strict Islamic dress codes, more women have appeared without headscarves in public places such as malls, restaurants and shops across the country since Amini’s death.
Report by Dubai Newsroom, edited by Bernadette Baum
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