Iran arrests lawyer at funeral of girl killed in subway attack
Iranian authorities have arrested a prominent lawyer and human rights defender who attended the funeral of a teenage girl who died after the controversial subway incident, her husband said.
Nasrin Sotoudeh was arrested on Sunday during the funeral of 16-year-old Armita Garavand in Tehran. Armita Garavand, 16, died the day before after spending about a month in intensive care.
Sotoudeh, 60, who won the European Parliament's Sakharov Prize in 2012 for his human rights work, has been arrested several times in recent years.
“My wife was arrested along with others during Armita Garavand's funeral,” Sotoudet's husband, Reza Khandan, told Agence France-Presse, adding that during her arrest she was “violently beaten. "It was," he said.
Journalists attempting to cover the funeral also found that Iranian security forces had attacked mourners and protesters gathered outside the Behesht-e-Zahra cemetery, where Ms. Garaband's family had gathered to bury their daughter. He claimed to have attacked, beaten and arrested him.
“They beat up mourners holding protest placards, I couldn`t get anywhere close to the funeral site,” said Negin*, a Tehran-based journalist, who added that fences had been erected around the cemetery and entrances blocked off. Other journalists who spoke to the Guardian, who all asked to remain anonymous for fear of reprisals, claimed that plain-clothed police officers mingled with crowds outside the cemetery before beating and arresting multiple people.
“I was violently pushed back, and watched as they beat up those holding protest placards. I myself counted at least eight people who were violently beaten and detained. I have no idea where they were taken,” said another journalist who wanted to remain anonymous.
Seventeen-year-old Garaband died after being admitted to Tehran's Fajr Hospital on October 1 after a subway accident left her in a coma, but opinions about her injuries were widely divided. Her death sparked massive protests led by Mahsa Amini, another Iranian-Kurdish woman who was arrested by the "morality police" on suspicion of violating Iran's strict dress code for women, while in custody. This happened just over a year after his death.
The local Fars news agency reported that Sotoudeh was "arrested and handed over to judicial authorities" for "not wearing a headscarf" and for "disturbing the psychological safety of society".
Since 1983, after the Iranian Islamic Revolution of 1979, women are required to cover their necks and heads in public. Since months of demonstrations erupted last September after Amini's death in custody, more women have flouted the Islamic republic's strict dress code.
Mr. Sotoudeh had already been jailed in 2018 after defending a woman who was arrested during a demonstration against the compulsory headscarf in Iran. In 2019, she was sentenced to 12 years in prison for "inciting corruption and debauchery."
Ms Garavand's case was first reported on October 3 by Kurdish-led human rights organization Hengau, which said she was seriously injured in an incident in the Tehran metro involving Iran's "morality police." announced that he had lost. Authorities said she suffered a sudden drop in her blood pressure and she denied there was a "physical or verbal altercation." Subway surveillance footage broadcast on state television showed the undressed teenager being led away.