Unveiling Tensions: Controversial Metro Incident Sparks Outrage in Dubai

06.10.2023 posted by Admin

Uncovered: Outcry Over Teen's Metro Incident in Iran

In Dubai, United Arab Emirates, a recent incident involving a 16-year-old girl who entered an Iranian Metro train without wearing a headscarf has sparked fresh outrage, occurring just a year after the death of Mahsa Amini, which led to nationwide protests.

The exact circumstances of what happened to Armita Geravand as she boarded the train on Sunday remain unclear. Although a friend mentioned to Iranian state television that she may have hit her head on the station platform, the video footage from outside the train is obstructed by a bystander, and shortly after, her unconscious body is taken away.

Geravand's parents, appearing on state media, suggested that their daughter's injury might be due to a blood pressure issue, a fall, or possibly both.

Activists abroad have raised concerns that Geravand could have been pushed or attacked for not wearing a hijab. They are calling for an independent investigation by the United Nations' fact-finding mission on Iran, citing instances where the government pressures victims' families and state TV has aired coerced confessions.

This incident comes as Iran has deployed its morality police, who some activists blame for Amini's death due to her loosely worn hijab, back onto the streets. Meanwhile, lawmakers are pushing for even stricter penalties for those not complying with the mandatory head covering.

Hadi Ghaemi, the executive director of the New York-based Center for Human Rights in Iran, emphasized the vulnerability of girls facing violence on the streets and the pressure on their families to protect the government.

For devout Muslim women, the hijab signifies piety before God and modesty in the presence of men outside their families. In Iran, it has also become a political symbol, especially after becoming mandatory following the 1979 Islamic Revolution. Iran and Taliban-ruled Afghanistan are the only countries where the hijab remains obligatory for women.

Amini's tragic death in 2022, after being detained by Iranian morality police for improper hijab wearing, led to widespread protests, representing a significant challenge to Iran's theocratic government.

Since those protests subsided, many women in Tehran have been seen openly defying the hijab law.

Geravand's injury occurred at the Meydan-E Shohada, or Martyrs' Square, Metro station in southern Tehran, and rumors about the incident quickly spread.

The Hengaw Organization for Human Rights, which reports on abuses in Iran's western Kurdish region, published a photo claiming to show Geravand at the hospital with her head bandaged, in a coma. They alleged that she was physically attacked by authorities for noncompliance with the compulsory hijab, resulting in severe injuries.

The exact circumstances surrounding Geravand's injuries remain unconfirmed. Hengaw has also claimed the arrest of Geravand's mother, Shahin Ahmadi, though this has not been acknowledged by Tehran authorities.

Recently, Iranian state TV aired surveillance footage covering the 16 minutes Geravand spent inside the Metro station before her injury. While the footage shows her calm and healthy, it does not include any video from inside the train itself, leaving questions unanswered.

Emergency medical technicians rushed Geravand to Fajr Hospital, located at an Iranian air force base and one of the nearest medical facilities to the station. Since her injury, a journalist from Shargh newspaper who visited the hospital has been arrested, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists. Shargh, a reformist newspaper, played a prominent role in reporting on Amini's death.

Geravand's injury has already garnered international attention, despite Iran's attempts to downplay it. Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock of Germany expressed her dismay over the incident on social media, while U.S. Deputy Special Envoy for Iran Abram Paley expressed shock and concern about the assault by Iran's "morality police" on the 16-year-old.

Iranian authorities are likely concerned about this incident triggering widespread anger, similar to Amini's case. Many women continue to defy the hijab law, despite an increasing crackdown. Tehran's city government has even hired "hijab guards" to issue verbal warnings, prevent uncovered women from entering subway cars, and hand them over to the police.
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