At least 23 children were killed in demonstrations in Iran as a result of the violent intervention of the authorities. This once again shows that the authorities are doing everything they can to quell the protests.
Demonstrations erupted in Iran after the death of 22-year-old Gina Mohasa Amini on September 16, 2022. They developed into large protests across the country that many believe to be a major uprising against the Islamic Republic.
In a detailed statement, Amnesty International listed the names of 23 young victims of deadly violence during the protests between 20 and 30 September 2022. Among the victims were 20 boys between the ages of 11 and 17. and three girls between the ages of 16 and 17. Most of the boys were shot dead by security forces. Two boys were killed 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 deaths 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 people whose names Amnesty International has been able to identify. The organization believes the true death toll may be higher and continues to investigate.
Iranian 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 was a person, what would it have looked like in the eyes of these children and their parents? Heba Morayef of Amnesty International said he would be ashamed of not taking action against these systematic crimes and gross human rights violations committed with impunity by the Iranian authorities.
“The Iranian authorities are ignoring all calls to stop this unlawful use of force and those responsible for the unlawful killing, enforced disappearance, torture and ill-treatment of protesters, bystanders, and detainees. The price of this systematic impunity is being paid in human lives, including children. Member states of the Human Rights Council of the The United Nations will hold a special session soon and adopt a resolution to launch independent investigations into Iran.”
Ten of the young victims belonged to the persecuted Baluch minority in Iran. They were killed by security forces in Sistan and Baluchestan provinces on the bloodiest day of protests, September 30. Evidence collected by Amnesty International shows that at least seven children were killed in Zahedan, with injuries to the heart, head or other vital organs.
According to reliable sources and audiovisual evidence, one of them, Jawad Boucheh, 11, was shot in the back of the head during a violent suppression of protests after Friday prayers outside a police station. The bullet exited 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), Kogluyeh and Boyer Ahmed (1), Zanjan (1). Two of the victims were Afghan nationals – a 14-year-old boy named Mohammad Reza Sarfari and a 17-year-old girl named Satrah Tajik.
The authorities spread false stories
On October 7, 2022, the lawyer for Mohammad Reza Sarfari – who was shot dead on September 21 during the month of Rey protests – posted online a copy of the funeral certificate describing the cause of death as “hemorrhage and torn brain tissue”. Because of “a fast-moving shell. The lawyer felt compelled to share this because of the accounts created by the authorities in the state media and the statements of the authorities that described the cause of the deaths of children as a result of the violence of the security forces as ‘suicide’.”
Amir Mehdi Frukhipour, 17, was injured by metal bullets during protests in Tehran on September 28. According to reliable sources, he died of gunshot wounds to the chest. Security forces forced his father to record a video statement stating that his son had been killed in a car accident. If he didn’t, he or his daughters would be killed.
The authorities also withheld the truth in the cases of 16-year-old Nika Chakarami and Sarina Ismailzadeh. The girls died after officers hit them on the head. The security forces intimidated and harassed the girls’ parents, forcing them to record a video that repeated the official story that their children had committed suicide by jumping from the roof of the building.
Escaping from the Punishment
These recent protests in Iran have been surrounded by a deep crisis of systemic impunity for the most serious crimes under international law, which has been prevalent in the country for a long time. The UN Human Rights Council has not yet dealt with this crisis well. There is an urgent need for international investigative procedures to collect and analyze evidence of these serious crimes and human rights violations. Those responsible must be brought to justice.
“The Iranian authorities are terrorizing the families of the victims so that they can hide the fact that the hands of the authorities are stained with the blood of their children. Heba Morayef said that this clearly shows that all avenues of access to truth and justice in the country itself have been closed.
Amnesty International revealed that Iran’s top military command has ordered military commanders in all provinces to “seriously confront” the protesters. The organization also documented the widespread and widespread use of lethal force and firearms by Iranian security forces, who either wanted to kill protesters or should have known that their use of firearms would kill them.
Iranian authorities have previously responded to protests with similar use of unlawful and lethal force. This resulted in hundreds of people being killed, including at least 21 children, in the November 2019 protests.