October 5, 2023 | Flash Brief

Rights Groups Call for Investigation Into Attack on Iranian Teenage Girl

October 5, 2023 | Flash Brief

Rights Groups Call for Investigation Into Attack on Iranian Teenage Girl

Latest Developments

Human rights groups called this week for an independent international investigation into an attack against a 16-year-old girl on a Tehran metro that put her in a coma. The groups, including the Oslo-based Iran Human Rights and the Hengaw Organization for Human Rights, claim that Armita Geravand suffered the injuries following a violent encounter with metro officers enforcing Iran’s mandatory hijab laws. U.S. Deputy Special Envoy for Iran Abram Paley said on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter, that he was shocked by the attack and was following news of Geravand’s condition.

The rights organizations have also accused Iranian authorities of clamping down on information about Geravand’s ordeal, establishing a heavy security presence at the Fajr Hospital, where she is being treated, and barring visitors, including family members. Iranian authorities also briefly arrested Maryam Lotfi, a female Shargh Daily journalist, on October 2 when she went to the hospital to report on the story.

Expert Analysis

“At this juncture, it is evident to any seasoned Iran watcher that we are confronted with a situation akin to Mahsa Amini’s case. Recent events over the past few days have illustrated that the Iranian populace is prepared to return to the streets to voice its dissatisfaction. Recognizing this trend and concerned about its implications for the future, the regime has deployed its forces to obfuscate matters by spreading disinformation and broadcasting statements from friends and relatives that are evidently coerced.” — Saeed Ghasseminejad, FDD Senior Iran and Financial Economics Advisor

“Eerie parallels between the cases of Mahsa and Armita notwithstanding, the Islamic Republic continues to prove that it lives by the old adage about regimes that have ‘learned nothing’ and ‘forgotten nothing.’ One year after nationwide protests, not only have authorities not felt compelled to offer even a modest concession but have now actively planned to increase the systematic oppression and targeting of women through a new compulsory hijab enforcement law pushed through parliament.” Behnam Ben Taleblu, FDD Senior Fellow

Iranian State Media Claim Geravand Fainted

Iran’s state-affiliated media released surveillance footage showing a group of girls entering the train without headscarves. The video cuts to one of the girls, who appears to be unconscious, being taken out of the train by passengers before medical personnel arrive. No footage from inside of the train is shown. Iranian media claim that Geravand fainted on the train due to low blood pressure and was knocked unconscious. This contention resembles the explanation that Tehran gave in September 2022 for the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, whom Iran’s morality police killed for allegedly wearing her hijab improperly. Amini’s murder triggered nationwide protests that continue to this day.

Invasive Hijab Law

Since September 2022, the Islamist regime’s violations of women’s rights have worsened. In September, Iran’s parliament passed a new law that strengthens penalties against women who fail to wear the hijab. Under the statute, such women can face lashes, travel bans, social media restrictions, heavy fines, and prison terms of up to 10 years. Businesses that fail to enforce the hijab law could also face fines and closures, while public institutions can deny services. A panel of United Nations experts condemned the law, calling its provisions “gender apartheid.”

Iran’s new hijab law reflects on regime’s desperation,” by Tzvi Kahn

Iran’s Uprising Nears First Anniversary as Protests Persist,” FDD Flash Brief

Why Iran’s regime fears women’s hair,” by Tzvi Kahn


Iran Iran Human Rights