Amnesty International: 23 Children Killed in November Uprisings
On Wednesday, Amnesty International published a report describing the brutal deaths of at least 23 children at the hands of Iranian regime security forces during the November Uprisings last year. ‘They Shot Our Children:’ Killings of Minors in Iran’s November 2019 Protests details the illegal and brutal actions taken by the Iranian regime against its citizens during last year’s protests, which included using lethal force on children as young as 8 to 12 years old.
According to the Amnesty report, 22 of the victims were boys ranging in age from 12 to 17, and one was a girl who appeared to be between the ages of 8 and 12. At least 22 of the victims were killed by live ammunition by security forces who illegally opened fire into crowds of unarmed protesters and bystanders during the uprisings.
“In recent months an increasingly gruesome picture has emerged of the extent to which Iranian security forces unlawfully used lethal force to crush last year’s nationwide protests. However, it is still devastating to learn that the number of children who fell victim to this brutality is so shockingly high,” said Philip Luther, Research and Advocacy Director for the Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty International in a briefing about the report.
“There must be independent and impartial investigations into these killings, and those suspected of ordering and carrying them out must be prosecuted in fair trials,” he emphasized.
Amnesty gathered evidence for its report from a number of sources, including videos, photos, death certificates, eyewitnesses accounts, family interviews, and information from local human rights activists and journalists. The report found that ten children died from bullet wounds to the head or chest, which backs up earlier claims from MEK sources that security forces used kill shots when firing on crowds.
Two children died from massive trauma, according to their death certificates. One of the children suffered a “crushed brain and a shattered skull.” The other died from “extensive internal bleeding, and a pierced heart and lung.”
In another case, some reports say that the child was beaten to death by security forces, sustaining massive head trauma in the process. Conflicting reports say that the child was fatally shot multiple times in the face at close range by metal pellets.
Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK Iran/PMOI) said yesterday that there have been at least 1500 killed in #IranProtests in #Iran which began on 15 November 2019. #MEK Iran also released the names of 504 slain protesters.https://t.co/m9jsCDZTWC@USAdarFarsi #StopIranBloodshed pic.twitter.com/GwEFjWgYB6
— MEK Iran (Mujahedin-e Khalq) (@MEK_Iran) December 16, 2019
The children’s deaths occurred between November 16-18, leading Luther to remark: “The fact that the vast majority of the children’s deaths took place over just two days is further evidence that Iranian security forces went on a killing spree to quash dissent at any cost.”
The report also describes the regime’s attempts to cover up the violent deaths by refusing to hand over the children’s phones to their parents, handing over bodies over victims wrapped in shrouds minutes before their funerals, demanding that families bury their loved ones quickly and quietly, and threatening to kill parents’ surviving children if they spoke out.
“As if the loss of their loved ones was not cruel enough an experience to bear, families of children killed during the protests are facing a ruthless campaign of harassment to intimidate them from speaking out,” said Luther.
According to the MEK, 1,500 people were killed by regime security forces during the November Uprisings and another 12,000 were arrested. MEK sources have reported that many of those arrested during the protests have been tortured.
Many believe that this uprising is a turning point in Iran’s political &ocial spectrum. Based on the information of Iran’s main opposition group,#MEK,at least 1500 #IranProtesters have been slaughtered in cold blood in the 1st few days of #Iranprotests. pic.twitter.com/3NZTOqNhz7
— MEK Iran (Mujahedin-e Khalq) (@MEK_Iran) December 30, 2019