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Iran teenager dies after apparent confrontation with morality police

Young girls walk in front of a mural showing the Iranian national flag in Tehran, Iran, on April 23, 2019.  (ATTA KENARE/AFP/Getty Images North America/TNS)
German Press Agency

German Press Agency

TEHRAN, Iran – A 16-year-old Iranian girl has died after an alleged confrontation with the country’s notorious morality police.

The schoolgirl, Armita Garavand, died on Saturday in a hospital in the capital Tehran, state news agency Irna reported.

The teenager was declared brain-dead about a week ago.

The case had caused outrage in Iran and beyond, echoing the fate of young Iranian Kurdish woman Jina Mahsa Amini, who was detained by the morality police in autumn 2022 for allegedly wearing an ill-fitting headscarf.

Amini fell into a coma and died. Her death sparked Iran’s most serious protests in decades last year.

According to reports by human rights activists, Garavand was confronted in an underground train about a month ago by guards because she was not wearing a headscarf.

State media denied any violence by the morality police.

Officials said that Garavand fell and hit her head because of low blood pressure.

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock expressed her dismay at the death of Garavand. “The brutality of the regime has robbed her of her future,” Baerbock wrote on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter.

Garavand was a child, “a whole life lay ahead of her,” Baerbock said. “Iran’s future is its youth. Iran’s future is its women. The regime cannot suppress their urge for freedom.”