SANTA MONICA – Amnesty International, the human rights organization, reported in September that at least 23 children have been brutally murdered by the Iranian government since the protests in Iran began on September 20th, 2022.
Amnesty International and teachers in Iran say the number of minors murdered for freely expressing their thoughts and ideas is now, closer to 50.
The protests began with the death of Mahsa Amini. The 19-year-old who was arrested in September by the Iranian Morality Police when she refused to wear her head scarf. Since then, thousands of protestors, mostly younger people, have taken to the streets across Iran to protest, what they consider, social injustice, repression, gender impunity, and state impunity by the Clerics who lead the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Since the protests began, an estimated 15,000 people have been arrested by police. Some of those arrested are reported to be as young as 11-years-old. After being arrested, the prisoners – many of them school age children – are sent to prisons where they share cells with hardened criminals. In essence, they children are being treated as adults reports The Washington Post.
In September, a document surfaced showing that the Iranian government promoted a harsh and repressive response to the growing protests. Amnesty International obtained a leaked copy of an official document which states that, on 21 September 2022, the General Headquarters of Armed Forces issued an order to commanders in all provinces instructing them to “severely confront troublemakers and anti-revolutionaries”.
Governments from around the world called for the Iranian government to respect the right of freedom of expression and to stop the would-be targeting of minors. French President Emmanuel Macron told Iranian dissidents he respects and admires them for “the revolution they are leading.” While British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said, “The violent crackdown on protests must stop and freedom of expression must be respected.”
However, Bahram Rahimi, a founding member of Iran’s Committee to Protect the Rights of Children who is now in exile in California said this about those who are in control of the country, “They have never respected or accepted the concept of children having any rights.”
Some reference content courtesy of Amnesty International, The New York Times, NPR, The Washington Post.