At least 23 children have been killed in the demonstrations in Iran as a result of violent intervention by the authorities. It shows once again that the authorities are doing everything they can to put down the protests.
The demonstrations in Iran erupted after the death of 22-year-old Jina Mahsa Amini in detention on September 16, 2022. They grew into large-scale protests across the country, which many believe is a major uprising against the Islamic Republic.
In a detailed statement, Amnesty International lists the names of 23 young victims of fatal violence during protests between 20 and 30 September 2022. Among the victims are 20 boys between the ages of 11 and 17; and three girls between 16 and 17 years old. Most of the boys were killed by bullets from the security forces. Two boys died after being shot at close range with metal bullets, and three girls and a boy died after being beaten to death by security forces.
16% of fatal accidents are children
Children make up 16 percent of the total number of protesters and bystanders killed by Amnesty International. The organization has so far confirmed the names and details of 144 men, women and children killed by Iranian security forces between 19 September and 3 October 2022, including individuals whose names Amnesty International has been able to identify. The organization believes the true death toll may be higher and continues to investigate.
Iran’s security forces have already killed at least 23 children in an attempt to break the spirit of resistance among the country’s brave youth. If the international community were a person, how would it face these children and their parents? He would be ashamed of the lack of action against these systematic crimes and gross human rights violations committed by the Iranian authorities with impunity, says Amnesty International’s Heba Morayef.
“The Iranian authorities are ignoring all calls to stop this illegal use of force and those responsible for the illegal killing, enforced disappearances, torture and ill-treatment of protesters, bystanders and detainees. The price of this systematic impunity is paid in human lives, including the lives of children . The member states of the UN Human Rights Council should soon hold a special session and adopt a resolution to launch independent investigations into Iran.”
Ten of the young victims belonged to Iran’s oppressed Balochi minority group. They were killed by security forces in Sistan and Balochistan provinces on the deadliest day of the protests, September 30. Evidence collected by Amnesty International shows that at least seven children killed in the town of Zahedan were hit in the heart, head or other vital organs.
According to reliable sources and audiovisual evidence, one of them, 11-year-old Javad Pousheh, was shot in the back of the head during a violent crackdown on protests after Friday prayers outside a police station. The bullet exited through his right cheek and left a large hole in his face.
The other thirteen children died in the provinces of Tehran (5), West Azerbaijan (4), Alborz (1), Kermanshah (1), Kohgilouyeh and Bouyer Ahmad (1) and Zanjan (1). Two of the victims were Afghan nationals – a 14-year-old boy, Mohammad Reza Sarvari, and a 17-year-old girl, Setareh Tajik.
The authorities are spreading false stories
On October 7, 2022, the lawyer for Mohammad Reza Sarvari—who was shot dead on September 21 during protests in Shahr-e Rey—published a copy of the funeral certificate online, describing the cause of death as “bleeding and crushed brain tissue” caused by “a rapid moving projectile The lawyer felt compelled to share this because of the stories in the state media and statements by the authorities calling the cause of death of children killed by security force violence ‘suicide’.
Amir Mehdi Farrokhipour, 17, was hit by metal bullets during protests in Tehran on 28 September. According to reliable sources, he would have died from a gunshot wound to the chest. The security service forced his father to record a video statement that his son had been killed in a car accident. If he didn’t, he or his daughters would be killed.
The truth was also obscured by the authorities in the cases of 16-year-old Nika Shakarami and Sarina Esmailzadeh. The girls died after the officers hit them in the head. Security forces intimidated and harassed the girls’ families, forcing them to record a video repeating the official story that their children committed ‘suicide’ by jumping from a roof.
These recent protests in Iran have been surrounded by a deep crisis of systematic impunity for the most serious crimes under international law, which has long been prevalent in the country. The UN Human Rights Council has so far not handled this crisis well. International investigative procedures are desperately needed to collect and analyze evidence of these serious crimes and human rights violations. Those responsible for this should be prosecuted.
“The Iranian authorities intimidate the victims’ families so they can hide the truth that the authorities have their children’s blood on their hands. This clearly shows that all paths to truth and justice in the country itself have been closed,” said Heba Morayef.
Amnesty International revealed that Iran’s Supreme Military Command has ordered military commanders in all provinces to “severely confront” protesters. The organization also documented the deployment of the widespread use of lethal force and firearms by Iranian security forces who wanted to kill protesters or should have known that their use of firearms would kill them.
Iranian authorities have previously responded to protests with a similar use of illegal force and lethal force. This killed hundreds of people, including at least 21 children, in protests in November 2019.