Iranian girl in coma after hijab beating; Mother arrested by security forces

After 16-year-old Iranian girl allegedly beaten unconscious by morality police, authorities arrest her mother in Tehran.

By Ben Cohen, The Algemeiner

The mother of a 16-year-old girl who was allegedly beaten by the Iranian regime’s morality police for wearing her hijab, or head scarf, inappropriately has been arrested by security forces in Tehran, a leading human rights group reported on Thursday.

According to Hengaw — a Norway-based NGO focused on the persecution of the Kurdish minority in Iran — Shahin Ahmadi was apprehended by government agents in the vicinity of Tehran’s Fajr Hospital.

Ahmadi’s daughter, Armita Garawand, has been languishing in a coma at the hospital since last Sunday, after she was reportedly arrested and beaten by the morality police at Tehran’s Shohada metro station.

According to Hengaw, Ahmadi’s whereabouts are currently unknown, while her family are being closely monitored by security services.

Human rights groups have speculated that the regime is placing pressure on Garawand’s relatives to echo the official line that the teenager had fainted as a result of low blood pressure.

Her father, Bahman, was quoted by the semi-official Fars news agency as saying: “We have checked all the videos and it has been proven for us that this incident was an accident. We request people to pray for our child’s recovery.”

However, in a separate interview, when asked about the cause of her daughter’s present state, Ahmadi replied, “We don’t know; they said she has collapsed.”

On Wednesday, security agents and representatives of the Iranian Ministry of Education arrived at the Arwa al-Wathqi Art Academy where Garawand is a student. According to Hengaw, students were threatened with “severe consequences” should they publicize Garawand’s plight or express solidarity with her.

The attack on Garawand came as Iranians continue to commemorate the death of Jina “Mahsa” Amini, a young Kurdish woman who became an international cause célèbre following her death in a Tehran hospital on Sept. 16, 2022. Amini had been arrested and savagely beaten by officers of the morality police for allegedly wearing her hijab inappropriately.

As news of her death spread, furious anti-government protests broke out in the Kurdish region where Amini was born, and across the country.