World Children’s Day: Iranian children’s plight under the mullahs’ regime
He was returning home with his family when the oppressive forces opened fire on their vehicle. Kian’s videos, in which he aspires to be a robotic engineer, quickly went viral on social media. His video of building a boat for a competition while saluting the “God of the Rainbow” breaks everyone’s heart. Kian was not the first or last child killed by Iran’s genocidal regime. At least 57 children have been killed in Iran since the uprising began. What was their offense? Trying to make a difference or wishing to be in the same situation as other children in the free world.
Nika Shahkarami, Sarina Ismailzadeh, Siavosh Mahmoudi, and many other minors were killed. Their social media videos show that these young children were full of life and hope for a better future. Amnesty International issued a statement on October 13 condemning the killings of children, emphasizing that they “shed further light on the authorities’ deadly resolve to crush the widespread, ongoing protests.”
“How would the international community look these children and their parents in the eyes if it were a person?” It would hang its head in shame for failing to act against the Iranian authorities’ widespread impunity for systematic crimes and gross violations of human rights,” said Heba Morayef, Amnesty International’s Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa.
Heroic people of #Izeh once again rose up while bidding farewell to innocent #KianPirfalak, vowing to bring down Khamenei’s oppressive regime. Kian symbolizes the awake conscience, innocence, and high fighting spirit of the people of #Iran. The entire nation salutes Kian. pic.twitter.com/fGTiCmfacS
— Maryam Rajavi (@Maryam_Rajavi) November 18, 2022
The People’s Mojahedin of Iran (PMOI/MEK) has published the names of nearly 500 martyrs of Iran’s democratic “revolution,” as many observers refer to it.
The regime’s then-supreme leader, Ruhollah Khomeini, ordered security forces to crack down on a large protest organized by the MEK in Tehran in June 1981. Security forces shot protesters and arrested many more. The next day, Iran’s state-run newspaper Etalat published photos of hanged teenage detainees and asked their parents to identify them.
Mohsen Mohammad Bagher, a paralyzed child actor, was arrested in the early 1980s and executed in the summer of 1988 alongside 30,000 political prisoners. The crisis of impunity in Iran allowed Ebrahim Raisi, one of the main perpetrators of the 1988 massacre, to be elected president of the genocidal regime.
Iranian children have known nothing but misery and deprivation for generations. During the Iran-Iraq war, Iran’s ruling theocracy deployed millions of schoolchildren to the frontlines as cannon fodder. Iran has one of the highest rates of child labour. On social media, videos of children searching for food in trash cans circulate on a daily basis.
This bravery merits international recognition, and Western governments should go beyond condemnation. True solidarity with the Iranian people recognizes the right to self-defense and holds the regime accountable for human rights violations. These steps put an end to the ruling theocracy’s four decades of impunity and aid Iranians in their fight to ensure a bright future for future generations.