On International Children’s Day: Call on Security Council, European Union for immediate action to stop killing, and to release detained
On the occasion of the International Children’s Day of the United Nations (November 20), the Women’s Committee of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) calls on the Security Council, the Secretary-General, the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the United Nations Human Rights Council, and all organizations defending human rights and children’s rights, including UNICEF, as well as the European Union and its member states to condemn the mullahs’ regime for the widespread and systematic suppression and killing of children and the widespread arrest of teenagers under the age of 18 in the past two months during the nationwide uprising of the Iranian people. They are also urged to take effective and practical measures to stop the killing of children by the Iranian regime, a clear case of crime against humanity, and to get imprisoned children released immediately.
- The religious fascism ruling Iran has extended to streets and schools its crimes in the past four decades against children and teenagers under 18 years of age, such as imprisonment, torture and hanging. Among the more than 600 martyrs of the uprising in the past 65 days, there are at least 60 children aged 2-17. The list of 58 of them is given below.
- These children were killed as a result of direct gunshots to their hearts or heads, shot by pellet guns, or blows to their head. These martyrs include a 2-year-old child from Zahedan, a 7-year-old girl from Bukan, two girls of 8-years of age, a 10-year-old boy, an 11-year-old boy, five boys of 12 years of age, two boys of 13 years of age, and five boys of 14 years of age. On November 16, in the city of Izeh, southwest of Iran, a 10-year-old boy, Kian Pirfalak, and a 14-year-old boy named Artin Rahmani were shot dead by the IRGC forces.
- Suppressive forces attack schools and arrest or kill students. Asra Panahi, a 15-year-old girl from Ardabil, was severely beaten after suppressive forces attacked the Shahed school. She passed away subsequently on October 14 in a hospital in Ardabil. Students who did not participate in the government-mandated ceremony and chanted anti-regime slogans in this school were badly beaten by guards. Seven students, including Asra, were taken to the hospital.
- The regime pressures the families of the victims in various ways to deny killing of their child and declare regime’s fabricated scenarios, such as suicide or falling from a height, as the cause of their deaths. They threaten the families that if they do not accept these fake scenarios, their children’s bodies will not be handed over to them and will be buried secretly. In some cases, they have arrested victims’ families for not submitting to this kind of scenarios.
- In the last two months, many teenagers under the age of 18 have been arrested and are under pressure and torture. Some of these arrestees have been transferred to the so-called child education centers (which are dangerous penitentiaries and detention centers lacking basic living conditions and health measures). In these centers, detained students are kept along with children who have grown up in prostitution, drug addiction, and theft, regardless of age and crime.
- Yousef Nouri, the regime’s minister of education, said in an interview with the state-run daily Sharq on October 11, 2022 about detained students, “I cannot give an exact number of them. Some of them are in psychological centers going through educational and correctional phase in order not to become anti-social characters, and our colleagues take care of them so they can be returned to school environment after correction.”
- Continuous presence of repressive forces, including plainclothes agents, repressive behavior and pressures of the regime-affiliated principals on students have caused psychological problems, especially for students of lower classes. According to the state-run website Sharq, ‘A group of psychologists, psychiatrists and mental health specialists”, many of whom work in government institutions, warned in a statement about the psychological consequences of the repressive behavior of the judiciary and State Security Force (SSF) with students. These experts have listed a list of violations of students’ rights, including:
- Illegal entry of police and assault of unknown attackers into schools; entry of irresponsible people in the education system into the privacy of children and teenagers at school; beating and arrest of students; killing of students including at Shahed School in Ardabil; illegal pressure on school staff to provide Information and introducing students to security forces and illegally forcing students to participate in mandatory cultural programs;
- Arresting, sending students to correctional center, filing psychiatric and psychological files, non-specialized and inaccurate use of the diagnosis of antisocial personality disorder.
- Using Basiji security forces and bringing them inside schools and creating a security atmosphere in schools
- School principals have been notified to strictly control the use of mobile phones by students, and to pay attention to searches of children’s bags and physical inspections.
- Putting pressure on school principals by higher authorities to exercise power, implement security measures, and create an unsafe environment in schools for students, teachers, principals, and parents.
- Using police forces and plainclothes agents around the school to create a security environment.
- The mullahs’ regime’s measures against students and children are a clear violation of international law and recognized human rights standards, especially the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of the Child (November 20, 1959) and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (November 20, 1989), which the Iranian regime is also one of its signatories. This convention states that the signatory countries must recognize the inherent right of every child to life and ensure to the maximum extent possible the survival and development of the child. No child shall be subjected to torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. Neither capital punishment nor life imprisonment without possibility of release shall be imposed for offences committed by persons below eighteen years of age.
National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) – Women’s Committee
November 20, 2022