Iranian state media disclosed this Sunday that a teenage girl has fallen into a “brain-dead” state following a supposed confrontation with authorities over her non-compliance with Iran’s hijab law earlier this month.
The 16-year-old’s dire condition came to light through images circulated by human rights organizations, including Kurdish-Iranian Hengaw. These visuals depict the young girl unconscious, her breathing aided by tubes, and her head bandaged, signifying reliance on life support systems.
While Reuters could not verify the legitimacy of these photographs independently, state reports confirm the heart-wrenching prognosis: despite healthcare professionals’ relentless efforts, the teenager, identified as Geravand, has tragically been declared brain-dead.
Echoes of Past Tragedies and Public Outcry
The grim situation has evoked strong reactions among human rights defenders, drawing unsettling comparisons to Mahsa Amini’s case. Amini’s demise under morality police custody last year catalyzed widespread demonstrations against the government, marking a turbulent phase for Iran’s religious leadership.
In response to speculations, Iranian officials have refuted claims of Geravand sustaining injuries during her October 1st encounter with the law enforcement agents, purportedly over a hijab infraction in Tehran’s metro system.
Post the 1979 revolution, which displaced the pro-Western Shah, Iran’s ecclesiastical hierarchy strictly monitored women’s dress codes. The laws necessitate hair concealing and mandate donning long, flowing garments. Non-adherence can attract severe repercussions, ranging from on-the-spot reprimands to monetary penalties and even incarceration.
Amini’s sorrowful passing has emboldened more Iranian women to resist the oppressive dress mandates. An increasing number have been spotted sans veils in public arenas, including shopping centres, eateries, and stores, symbolizing a silent protest and a plea for personal freedom in a regime of compulsory moral standards.