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Iranian teen Armita Geravand, allegedly assaulted by police for flouting strict dress code, has died

Tehran - Iranian teen girl Armita Geravand, who was allegedly assaulted by police in a subway car in Tehran for flouting the country's strict dress code, has died in a military hospital, Iranian media reported.

She died after "intensive medical treatment and 28 days of hospitalization," AFP reported, quoting the Borna news agency. Her father said last week his daughter had "no no hope of recovery," after being declared "likely brain-dead."

Conflicting reports around the incident have surfaced, with Iranian officials saying a medical incident caused the teen's collapse and subsequent coma. Her parents said that she had not been beaten, and said their daughter had a sudden drop in her blood pressure that caused her to fall and hit her head against the metro doors. Meanwhile, friends and witnesses told a different story. 

Human rights groups have called for an independent media investigation into the incident. The government has cracked down on media coverage, and Iranian journalist Maryam Lotfi was briefly detained after going to Fajr Hospital to report on Geravand's condition, according to her Shargh newspaper.

High school student Geravand was on the metro with two friends on Oct. 1 when witnesses said she was approached by a female guardian from a local force called Guardians of Hijab for flaunting the Islamic Republic's strict female dress code. 

The guard is said to have beaten and pushed the teen against the subway car doors, knocking her unconscious. Blurry surveillance footage taken from that day shows Geravand boarding a subway car with her two friends, and soon, those friends and two other women dragging her out of the car onto another platform. 

In 2022, a 22-year-old woman named Mahsa Amini died in the custody of Iran's Morality Police. Iranian officials said she died of a heart attack, but her family told CBS News she was fatally beaten by the police after being arrested for wearing her mandatory hijab head covering incorrectly.

Amini's death sent shockwaves across the country, triggering an unprecedented wave of anti-government protests. The demonstrations spread quickly, largely driven by young women demanding basic rights. They made the refrain "Women, Life, Freedom" echo around the world.

AFP contributed reporting

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