Iranian regime 'kills 23 children' as Islamic Republic tries to crush demonstrations

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Iranian security forces killed at least 23 children during violent protests sparked by the death in custody of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, according to Amnesty International. The international non-governmental organisation focused on human rights, which is headquartered in the UK, said the unlawful killings “shed further light on the authorities’ deadly resolve to crush the widespread, ongoing protests”.

Angry protests have broken out in the country following the death in custody of Amini on September 16 and escalated into what many people in Iran believe is a “broader uprising against the Islamic Republic establishment”.

Amnesty International has listed the names and circumstances surrounding the killing of the 23 children “as a result of unlawful force” from September 20-30.

The victims included 20 boys aged between 11 and 17; and three girls, two of whom were 16-years-old and one who was 17.

The human rights organisation said most of the boys were killed by security forces unlawfully firing live ammunition at them.

Two boys died after being shot with metal pellets at close range, while three girls and a boy died after fatal beatings by security forces.

Amnesty International said children represent 16 percent of overall deaths of protesters and bystanders, with the organisation so far recording the names and details of 144 men, women and children killed by Iran’s security forces between September 19 and October 3.

Heba Morayef, Amnesty International’s Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa, said: “Iran’s security forces have killed nearly two dozen children in an attempt to crush the spirit of resistance among the country’s courageous youth.

“If the international community were a person, how would it look these children and their parents in the eye?

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“It would lower its head in shame over its inaction against the pervasive impunity enjoyed by the Iranian authorities for their systematic crimes and gross violations of human rights.”

She added: “The Iranian authorities have repeatedly ignored all calls to cease the unlawful use of force and to prosecute those responsible for unlawful killings, enforced disappearances, torture and other ill-treatment of protesters, bystanders and of people deprived of their liberty.

“The price of this systematic impunity is being paid with human lives, including children’s.

“Member states engaging at the UN Human Rights Council should urgently hold a special session and adopt a resolution to establish an international independent investigative and accountability mechanism on Iran.”

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Ten of the 23 children were from Iran’s oppressed Baluchi minority and all killed in the Zahedan, Sistan and Baluchistan provinces on September 30 – the deadliest day of the crackdown.

Amnesty said it has gathered evidence that shows at least seven of the children killed in Zahedan were shot in the heart, head or other vital organs.

The organisation concluded in a press release: “The latest wave of protest killings is rooted in a deep crisis of systemic impunity for the most serious crimes under international law that has long prevailed in Iran and which, given the scale and severity of past and ongoing human rights violations, has not been sufficiently addressed by the UN Human Rights Council.

“An international investigative and accountability mechanism is urgently needed to collect, consolidate, preserve, and analyse evidence of the most serious crimes and other serious human rights violations committed in Iran.”



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