Iranian Teenager Reported Brain Dead by State Media

Armita Geravand, the Iranian girl who was dragged out of a subway car unconscious shortly after entering with her hair uncovered, has been pronounced brain dead, Iran’s state-owned media reported on Sunday.

Since her collapse on Oct. 1, she has been in a coma, but on Sunday, doctors said that they were not hopefulshe would be saved, according to Tasnim News, a semiofficial agency affiliated with the Revolutionary Guards.

“Unfortunately, her health condition is not promising, and, despite the efforts of the medical staff, the brain death of Armita Geravand seems certain,” Tasnim reported.

Little is known about what happened to 16-year-old Ms. Geravand, but her case has evoked similarities with that of Mahsa Amini, who died last year in the custody of the morality police after being accused of violating Iran’s dress code, prompting a nationwide wave of anti-government protests.

Two journalists, Niloufar Hamedi and Elaheh Mohammadi, who covered Ms. Amini’s case, were sentenced on Sunday to seven and six years in prison for “cooperating with the ‘hostile’ government of America,” according to the semiofficial Fars News Agency.

Ms. Geravand’s case has also given rise to accusations that she was harmed by agents enforcing the hijab rules.

Mohammad Roozbehani, whose brother was shot during the protests in 2022, posted on social media two pictures of Ms. Geravand and Ms. Amini intubated in their hospital beds.

“They say that if you see the same tree twice in the forest, it means you are lost,” he wrote on Oct. 18.

A police motorcycle burned during a protest after Mahsa Amini died in police custody last year in Tehran.Credit…Wana News Agency, via Reuters

On Monday, pictures on the BBC’s Farsi Instagram account showed posters with Ms. Geravand’s image hanging on the walls of the university of Tehran with the words — “Shout her name.”

“Sweet Armita! Brave and beautiful girl of my land, they killed you, took your frail body hostage,” Fatemeh Heidari, whose brother was shot in last year’s protests, wrote on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter,on Monday. (Her brother, Javad Heidari, was one of about 500 people killed in the government’s crackdown on the uprisings — the most serious challenge to Iran’s clerical rule since its beginning in 1979.)

Ms. Heidari accused the government of delaying the announcement of Ms. Geravand’s brain death “so that you are lost in the noise of wars.” But, she added, “we are your voice.”

The circumstances of Ms. Geravand’s collapse remain murky. Security camera footage broadcast by Iran’s state television showed that she entered the subway on her way to school, her short black hair uncovered, and that she was carried out only minutes later, but it’s unclear what happened inside the train. Iran’s authorities have not released videos from inside the subway car.

People familiar with the episode told Farzad Seifikaran, a journalist with Radio Zamaneh, that Ms. Geravand — an art student at a vocational art and design high school — and two of her friends argued with officers enforcing the dress code. They told the journalist that one officer pushed Ms. Geravand, who fell, hit her head on a metal object, and suffered cerebral hemorrhaging, he said.

The government said thatMs. Geravand collapsed because she had skipped breakfast and her blood sugar dropped.

On Sunday, Tasnim News accused the opposition media of attempting to manipulate reports of the incident. “The desperate attempt of the opposition media to turn this story upside down shows the all-around design of the opponents and enemies of people’s security and social order to affect the peace of the country,” they wrote. “But they failed.”

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