Oct 12, 2023
Comatose Iranian Teenager’s Condition Deteriorating
Author: Maryam Sinaee
The government-linked Borna news agency reported Wednesday that Armita Geravand’s health has “somewhat” deteriorated.
"Armita Geravand's vital signs, which were relatively stable, have changed over the past few days and have somewhat worsened," reported the news agency linked with the Islamic Republic's Ministry of Sports, without providing further details. It stated that the medical team is still working to improve her condition.
The teenager allegedly fell into a coma after being assaulted by hijab enforcers on her way to school at Tehran subway ten days ago. Authorities have significantly restricted the family's access to Armita at Fajr military hospital in Tehran.
Armita’s serious head injury, which authorities claim she sustained when she fainted on a subway car, serves as a stark reminder to many Iranians of the death of Mahsa Amini in September last year. Mahsa's death ignited months of protests and unrest across the country, and the government is still refusing to accept responsibility for it.
Armita’s mother was briefly detained by security authorities last week ago after protesting their refusal to allow her to see her daughter. Armita’s father was only permitted to see her after agreeing to a televised interview in which he endorsed the official account of the incident, which excludes the role of hijab enforcers.
Independent media outlets have been denied access to the hospital, and they are not allowed to speak with the family. Maryam Lotfi, a reporter who tried to interview Armita’s mother on the day of her hospital admission, was briefly detained. She has refrained from making any comments about her arrest or the incident since then.
The news of another young girl's life-threatening injury, along with televised interviews with her parents and classmates, which many believe were "forced," has outraged many Iranians who are being kept in the dark about her circumstances.
"The Islamic Republic has no legitimacy in the eyes of the people who are certain that the regime is lying about Armita Geravand, as it has always done. The regime has been using forced interviews with Armita's family and friends in an attempt to convince the public that the incident was only an accident," a representative of the United Youth of Iran (UYI) told Iran International.
Iranian social media users have extensively alleged in the past ten days that authorities are deliberately withholding all information about Armita and making every effort to silence her family, with the hope that her case will eventually fall into oblivion amidst the news of the war in Gaza and Israel.
Footage of Armita's presence at the subway station and an audio file of the call made by an employee of the Tehran Metro to the emergency services, which state media have released, have not been able to convince the public that hijab enforcers were not involved in the incident.
Serious suspicions that the footage and audio file were doctored by the authorities to conceal the truth were raised in a long tweet on October 9 by an anonymous user who posts as Avand Fardi.
Fardi, who claims to have meticulously examined and analyzed the video footage and audio file, concluded that either three black-veiled women, who were hijab enforcers on the platform, or a fourth person in the car must have been responsible for assaulting Armita. However, he believes the audio and visual evidence was doctored to conceal this fact.
Furthermore, he has highlighted a discrepancy in the audio file concerning the explanations provided by the metro staff regarding the circumstances leading to the young girl's injury, presumably inside the car where the authorities claim there was no CCTV.