Photos of Iranian juveniles killed by security forces during the country’s seven-month protests
UPDATE, APRIL 26:
Human Rights Watch has documented that “Iran’s security forces repressing widespread protests have unlawfully killed, tortured, sexually assaulted, and disappeared children as part of a pattern of serious violations”.
HRW investigated abuses against 11 children between September 2022 and February 2023. It documented new details about two previously reported cases. Sources included children, relatives, witnesses to shootings and beatings, activists, journalists, and legal experts.
Iranian authorities arrested, interrogated, and prosecuted children in violation of legal safeguards. Families have not been notified for weeks. Judges have barred the detainees’ families from hiring lawyers of their choice, convicted children on vague charges, and tried them outside of youth courts.
Students released from detention have been barred from returning to school. Authorities have cut off families’ social welfare, forcing children to go to work.
Cases include the sexual assault of a 17-year-old boy. A high school student was pushed by security forces onto a lit gas range during arrest, setting her clothing on fire, and was beaten and whipped during interrogation. A boy was tortured with needles under his nails, and a 16-year-old tried twice to take his own life after being beaten, electroshocked, and sexually assaulted.
Iranian human rights groups have recorded the killings of at least 68 children, among 537 people slain by security forces during the seven-month nationwide protests after the death of Mahsa Amini in police custody on September 16.
ORIGINAL ENTRY, MARCH 16: Amnesty International has documented how Iran’s intelligence and security forces are committing acts of torture — beatings, floggings, electric shocks, rape, and other sexual violence — against detained minors as young as 12.
Hoping to halt participation in the country’s six-month protests for rights, justice, and gender equality, the security forces are using the torture to punish and humiliate boys and girls and to extract forced “confessions”.
Amnesty documented seven cases in details, using testimonies from the victims and their families. These are supported by evidence of other cases from 19 eyewitnesses, including two lawyers and 17 adult detainees who were held alongside children.
The victims and eyewitnesses are from provinces across Iran including East Azerbaijan, Golestan, Kermanshah, Khorasan-e Razavi, Khuzestan, Lorestan, Mazandaran, Sistan and Baluchestan, Tehran, and Zanjan.
Iranian officials have said more than 22,000 people have been detained at some point since protests began on September 16 over the death of Mahsa Amini — detained and reportedly beaten by “morality police” — in police custody. State media has said minors make up a significant portion of the detainees.
Amnesty found arrested children were initially taken, often while blindfolded, to detention centers run by the Revolutionary Guards, the Ministry of Intelligence, the Public Security Police, the investigation unit of Iran’s police, or the Basij paramilitary force. After days or weeks of incommunicado detention or enforced disappearance, they were moved to recognized prisons.
Some juveniles were abducted by plainclothes agents from streets during or in the aftermath of protests, taken to locations such as warehouses, tortured, and then abandoned them in remote locations.
While most of the children have been released, sometimes on bail pending investigations or referral to trial, many were only freed after they were forced to sign “repentance” letters with the promise to attend pro-regime rallies and to refrain from “political activities”. They were often threatened with prosecution on charges carrying the death penalty or with the arrest of relatives if they complained.
A mother spoke of sexual violence against her son after he was abducted.
My son told me: “They hung [me] to the point that I felt like my arms were about to rip off. I was forced to say what they wanted because they raped me with a hosepipe. They were taking my hand and forcibly making me fingerprint the papers.”
Another relative recounted the abduction of several schoolboys were abducted for writing “Woman, Life, Freedom” on a wall. THey were them to an unofficial location, tortured, threatened with rape, and then dumped semi-conscious in a remote area. A victim told the relative:
They gave us electric shocks, hit me in my face with the back of a gun, gave electric shocks to my back and beat me on my feet, back and hands with batons. They threatened that if we told anyone, they would [detain us again], do even worse and deliver our corpses to our families.