Tuesday, October 31, 2023

Growing Concerns Over Iranian Teen’s ‘Intolerable’ Metro Assault


Western Governments Express Concern over Alleged Assault by Iranian Security Forces

Western governments have expressed concern over an alleged assault by Iranian security forces that reportedly left a teenager in a coma. Germany’s top diplomat, Annalena Baerbock, called the incident “intolerable,” while the acting US special envoy on Iran, Abram Paley, stated that Washington was “shocked and concerned” about the reports. The incident occurred on the Tehran metro, and a rights group has called for an international investigation into the confrontation.

The teenager, Armita Garawand, was attacked on Sunday by female police officers, according to the Kurdish-focused rights group Hengaw. Iranian authorities, however, have claimed that she “fainted” due to low blood pressure and denied any involvement of security forces. This incident comes just over a year after the death in custody of Mahsa Amini, who had been arrested for allegedly violating strict dress rules for women.

The case has sparked intense discussion on social media, with a purported video of the incident circulating online. The video allegedly shows Garawand, apparently unveiled, being pushed into the metro by police agents and then an immobile body being pulled out. Norway-based NGO Iran Human Rights has called for an independent international investigation to establish the details of the incident. The group accused Tehran of having a long history of distorting facts and concealing evidence of their crimes.

Hengaw reported that Garawand is currently being treated under tight security at Tehran’s Fajr hospital. The rights group published a picture of Garawand on her hospital bed, attached to a feeding tube, with her head and neck heavily bandaged. Her parents gave an interview to Iranian state media at the hospital under considerable pressure and in the presence of high-ranking security officers.

The incident has once again highlighted the ongoing harassment and repression of women in Iran under the guise of fighting mandatory hijab violations. Iran Human Rights’ director, Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam, condemned the Islamic republic’s actions and called for justice for Garawand.

The German Foreign Minister, Annalena Baerbock, expressed her support for the family and criticized the pressure they faced during the interview. She emphasized that the family should have the right to be at their daughter’s bedside without being subjected to media attention.

Armita Garawand is a resident of Tehran but hails from the city of Kermanshah in Iran’s Kurdish-populated west, according to Hengaw. The incident has once again raised concerns about the treatment of ethnic minorities in Iran and the lack of accountability for security forces’ actions.

In response to the incident, Western governments are calling for the Iranian regime to be held accountable for its abuses. The international community must work together to ensure that human rights violations are addressed and justice is served. The alleged assault on Armita Garawand is just one example of the ongoing repression faced by women in Iran, and it is crucial that these issues are brought to light and addressed.

As the case continues to unfold, it is essential that pressure is maintained on the Iranian government to conduct a thorough and impartial investigation into the incident. The international community must stand in solidarity with the people of Iran and support their fight for justice and human rights. Only through collective action can we hope to bring about meaningful change and put an end to such intolerable acts of violence and repression.

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