A Growing Malignancy
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A recent incident that left a teenage girl in a coma following a confrontation with Iran’s morality police is creating new outrage against the government, a little more than a year after the country was swept by mass demonstrations sparked by the death of another young woman who allegedly violated the country’s strict dress codes, the Washington Post reported.
Earlier this month, morality police officials stopped 16-year-old Armita Geravand and her friends for failing to properly follow the rules that require women to cover their hair.
But footage from the surveillance videos and various statements, including from Geravand’s family and Iranian officials, have prompted questions about what led the girl to fall into a coma.
Authorities claimed that the girl fainted from low blood pressure. In an interview, her parents said that video footage didn’t depict anything controversial, adding that she “fell on the floor and her head hit the edge of the metro.”
But many activists criticized the interview and the official announcement, countering that the teenager was assaulted by authorities.
They urged officials to release more footage while comparing the incident to the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini last year.
Amini was arrested last September by the morality police for alleged dress code violations. She later died in their custody, which prompted months-long protests against Iran’s strict hijab rules and its ruling clerics.
The demonstrations saw many women defying the rules and removing their headscarves, sometimes burning them at protests.
While the Iranian government initially appeared to have dissolved the police unit, their patrols resumed this year as the country took new steps to tighten dress code enforcement.
The recent incident with Geravand also drew criticism from Western officials, but Iranian authorities called these comments “interventionist and biased remarks.”