Death By Scarves

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An Iranian teenager who fell into a coma this month after an alleged encounter with officers concerning the alleged violation of the country’s hijab law is reportedly brain dead, with authorities bracing for new protests, the Guardian reported Sunday.

“Follow-ups on the latest health condition of Armita Geravand indicate that her health condition as brain dead seems certain despite the efforts of the medical staff,” the Islamic Republic of Iran News Network, a state news outlet, wrote.

On Oct. 1 the 16-year-old was hurt in a confrontation with officers enforcing the mandatory Islamic dress code on the Tehran metro, a claim the authorities deny.

Instead, government officials maintain that the teenager fainted due to a drop in blood pressure. But Iranian opposition groups say the authorities are only releasing part of the CCTV footage, showing the victim walking toward the train – but not what happened immediately afterward.

The report on Geravand could revive months-long countrywide protests sparked by the death of the 22-year-old Kurdish Iranian woman Mahsa Amini while in the custody of “morality police” in September 2022 for allegedly violating the dress code, the newspaper said.

Over the past few months, Iran has renewed its push to enforce its “hijab laws” and returned its morality police to the street after a temporary absence, while lawmakers created stricter penalties for those flouting the head-covering requirement.

Meanwhile, over the weekend, an Iranian court handed out long prison sentences to two journalists over their coverage of Amini’s death, Al Jazeera reported.

Niloofar Hamedi and Elaheh Mohammadi were sentenced to 13 and 12 years in prison respectively, on charges including collaboration with the US government and acting against national security.

Lawyers for the two journalists have rejected the charges. Hamedi was detained after she took a picture of Amini’s parents hugging each other in a Tehran hospital where their daughter was lying in a coma, and Mohammadi after she covered Amini’s funeral in her Kurdish hometown of Saqez, where the protests began.

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