DUBAI, Oct 22 (Reuters) – A teenage Iranian girl who was put into a coma earlier this month after allegedly encountering authorities for violating the country’s hijab law is “brain dead,” reports on Sunday said.
Right-wing groups such as the Kurdish-Iranian Henga first publicized Armita Geravant’s hospitalization, posting photos on social media of the 16-year-old girl, visible on life support, with a breathing tube and a bandage over her head. Reuters could not verify the images.
“Recent follow-ups on Geravant’s condition indicate that despite the efforts of medical staff, his brain death is confirmed,” state media reported.
Concerns have been raised by rights advocates that Keravant could face the same fate as Mahza Amini, whose death in morality police custody last year sparked nationwide anti-government protests in one of the boldest challenges to Iran’s clerical rulers.
Iran has denied that Keravant was injured after an Oct. 1 clash with officials enforcing a mandatory Islamic dress code in the Tehran metro.
Iran’s theocracy has imposed restrictions on women’s clothing since a popular revolution ousted the secular and Western-backed shah in 1979. Women should cover their hair and wear long, loose dresses.
Violators are subject to public censure, fines or arrest. After Amini’s death, more and more women have been appearing in public places such as malls, restaurants and shops across the country, defying the strict Islamic dress code.
Reporting by Dubai Newsroom Bernadette Baum
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