- Armita Garvand, 17, was declared “brain dead” a week ago.
- She was admitted to Fajr Hospital in Tehran since October 1.
- There is controversy over the circumstances of the incident.
An Iranian high school student died on Saturday, nearly a month after falling into a coma under disputed circumstances on the Tehran metro, media in the Islamic republic said.
“Armita Garavand, a student in Tehran, died an hour earlier after receiving intensive medical treatment and being hospitalized for 28 days in intensive care,” the report said. Borna News Agency Affiliated with Youth Ministry.
The 17-year-old ethnic Kurd, who was declared “brain dead” a week earlier, had been hospitalized in Tehran’s Fajr Hospital since October 1 after fainting in the subway.
The circumstances of the incident have been disputed, with metro surveillance footage, which was broadcast on state television, showing a naked teenager being taken out of a carriage after being knocked unconscious.
This came exactly a year after the death of Mahsa Amini, also a young Iranian Kurd, who was arrested by morality police for allegedly violating Iran’s strict dress code for women, in an incident that sparked outrage. Mass protests erupted throughout the Islamic republic.
Several hundred people, including dozens of security forces, were killed and thousands arrested during months of protests.
Seven people were also hanged for their connection with the “riots”.
Since last year’s mass protests, women have increasingly been violating the dress code, which requires head coverings and modest clothing.
But authorities have also sought to intensify penalties on violators of the code, which has been in place since 1983 after Iran’s 1979 Islamic revolution.
Garavand’s case was first reported on October 3 by the Kurdish-focused rights group Hengaw, which said she was seriously injured during an incident on the underground train network.
Authorities say his blood pressure suddenly dropped and deny that there was any “physical or verbal altercation” between him and other passengers.
But rights groups have said the teen was seriously injured during an alleged attack by female members of Iran’s morality police.
Iran on Saturday Tasneem News Agency Doctors were quoted as saying that Garavand suffered “brain damage due to the fall, followed by sustained convulsions, drop in brain oxygenation and brain-edema following a sudden drop in blood pressure”.
Reformist daily Ham Meehan called on authorities to “allow independent media to investigate the incident” in order to convince the public.
MP Ahmed Alirezabegi on Wednesday described the incident as “significant” and called on the legislature to “question the interior minister” over the incidents.
On 8 October, Interior Minister Ahmed Vahidi said that authorities had investigated the incident and “the situation is completely clear”.
“The enemies do not want the country to remain peaceful and they always try to turn every incident into a controversy,” he alleged.
Iran has in the past few months stepped up its crackdown on women and businesses violating hijab rules.
In September, lawmakers voted in favor of toughening penalties, including up to 10 years in prison for women who violate the dress code.