Saturday, November 4, 2023

Iranian Teen’s Family Despairs over Metro Incident: No Hope for Recovery


Iranian Teenager Left in Coma After Alleged Assault by Police on Tehran Metro

An Iranian teenager, Armita Garawand, who was left in a coma after an alleged assault by police on the Tehran metro, has no hope of recovery, according to her father. The incident, which occurred in early October, has sparked controversy and accusations against Iranian authorities.

The 16-year-old girl was apprehended by female officers on the Tehran metro for allegedly flouting strict dress rules for women. Activists claim that she was badly injured during the altercation, while authorities maintain that she collapsed due to low blood pressure. However, state Iranian media recently reported that Garawand is now “likely brain-dead.”

Garawand’s father, Bahman Garawand, revealed that her medical team has informed the family that her brain is no longer functioning and there is no hope of recovery. The teenager has been admitted to Fajr hospital in Tehran since October 1, but her condition has been deemed too fragile for any operations.

The situation surrounding Garawand’s case is tense, with a tight security presence reported at the hospital. Earlier this month, Garawand’s mother was arrested in the hospital area but was later released. This incident follows the death of Mahsa Amini in September 2022, which triggered widespread protests after she was arrested for allegedly violating the dress code.

Amnesty International has called for an independent investigation into Garawand’s case, citing mounting evidence of a cover-up by Iranian authorities. The organization analyzed footage published by Iranian media, which purportedly shows no altercation took place. However, Amnesty found that the footage had been edited, with an increased frame rate and over three minutes missing.

The managing director of Tehran metro, Masood Dorosti, denied any verbal or physical conflict between Garawand and passengers or metro staff. Iranian media later published interviews with two girls claiming to be Garawand’s friends, who confirmed the official account. However, rights group Hengaw stated that all interviews with family and eyewitnesses published by state-controlled Iranian media remain unverifiable.

Amnesty International also expressed serious concerns about the treatment of Garawand’s family and friends, suggesting that they have been forced to appear in propaganda videos and reiterate the state narrative under duress and threats of reprisals. The situation has raised fears of a potential cover-up by Iranian authorities.

The case has attracted international attention, with Iranian journalist Maryam Lotfi briefly detained after attempting to report on Garawand’s condition at Fajr hospital. The incident highlights the challenges faced by journalists and activists in Iran when attempting to investigate sensitive cases.

As tensions continue to rise, Iran remains wary of Garawand’s condition triggering further unrest. The death of Mahsa Amini last year led to months of nationwide protests, and authorities are keen to avoid a repeat scenario. However, the calls for an independent investigation persist, as human rights organizations and activists demand transparency and accountability.

The fate of Armita Garawand remains uncertain, as her family and supporters hope for a miraculous recovery. The international community continues to monitor the situation closely, urging Iranian authorities to address the allegations and ensure a fair investigation into the incident. Only time will tell how this case unfolds and whether justice will be served for Garawand and her family.

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