The report revealed that security forces punished and humiliated children in detention to extract ‘forced confessions’ from them.
“Iran’s intelligence and security forces have been committing horrific acts of torture, including beatings, flogging, electric shocks, rape and other sexual violence against child protesters as young as 12 to quell their involvement in nationwide protests,” Amnesty said in its report on Thursday. Moreover, the Revolutionary Guards of Iran and the paramilitary Basij were also found to be involved in the same.
The detention of children came as a result of the crackdown in the country which was ignited by 22-year-old Mahsa Amini’s death last year. Amini died in the custody of Iran’s morality police after she was detained over the dress code.
Furthermore, the Deputy Regional Director of Amnesty International for the Middle East and North Africa, Diana Eltahawy said, “violence against children exposes deliberate strategy to crush the vibrant spirit of the country’s youth and stop them from demanding freedom and human rights,” as she raised her concerns over the ongoing unrest in Iran.
Amnesty “obtained testimony from the victims and their families, as well as additional testimony on the widespread commission of torture against scores of children from 19 eyewitnesses, including two lawyers and 17 adult detainees who were held alongside children,” the human rights organisation said, according to CNN.
CNN reported citing Amnesty International that Iran has acknowledged holding more than 22,000 people in custody during the protests.
The Rights Group further called out Tehran to release any children detained for protesting peacefully in its report.
While Iranian politicians have suggested the girls could have been targeted by hardline Islamist groups, activists believe that the poisonings may be linked to the nationwide protests that erupted last September over the death of Mahsa Amini.
Many schoolgirls have been active in the protests, removing their mandatory headscarves in classrooms, tearing up pictures of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and calling for his death, reported CNN.