The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has called on the Iranian authorities not to detain and harass journalists covering the brutal physical assault against a 16-year-old girl in a Tehran subway station.
Sources told IranWire that Armita Geravand fell into a coma after being reportedly assaulted by hijab enforcement officers on October 1. The teenager was transported to Fajr Air Force Hospital after suffering a "head trauma," they said.
Authorities denied security forces were involved in the incident and said the girl fainted due to low blood pressure.
A journalist from Shargh newspaper who had been trying to cover the story by going to the hospital where Armita is being treated was briefly arrested. Access to the hospital has been restricted by security forces.
Iran remains on high alert just over a year after the death in police custody of 22-year old Mahsa Amini, who had been arrested for allegedly wearing a headscarf improperly. Amini's tragic death led to monthslong anti-government protests and a state crackdown in which more than 500 people were killed and thousands were unlawfully arrested, including dozens of journalists.
“CPJ is watching with concern the situation unfolding in #Iran following reports of the beating of a teenager for alleged improper wearing of her hijab,” CPJ Middle East and North Africa Program Coordinator Sherif Mansour said on October 3.
“This news has ominous echoes of last year's tragic death-in-custody of #MahsaAmini, and we call on Iranian authorities not to relaunch their vicious censorship machine by detaining and harassing journalists covering this important event,” he added.