At least 23 children killed in Iran by state forces: Amnesty International
Iranian state forces killed at least 23 children during protests that began with Mahsa Amini's death in police custody on 16 September, Amnesty International said on Thursday.
In a detailed statement, the human rights organization listed the names and circumstances surrounding the killing of the children that resulted from unlawful use of force between 20 September and 30 September.
The victims included 20 boys aged between 11 and 17, and three girls, two of whom were 16 years old and one 17 years old.
Most of the boys were killed by the police firing at them with live ammunition. Two boys died after being shot with metal pellets at close range, while three girls and a boy died after fatal beatings by security forces.
The report highlighted a lawyer's disclosure of a burial certificate that listed the cause of death of one of the child fatalities, Mohammad Reza Sarvari, on 21 September during protests in Shahr-e Rey in Tehran province. The cause of death was indicated in the certificate as "bleeding and shattered brain tissue" caused by "being hit with a fast-moving projectile."
The lawyer said he felt obliged to share the official document in the face of propagation of false narratives by the authorities in state media and through statements by officials increasingly attributing the death of children killed by security forces to "suicide."
Noting that in another incident 17-year-old Amir Mehdi Farrokhipour was killed by the police who targeted him with metal pellets and live ammunition, and that according to informed sources he died from gunshot wounds in his chest, Amnesty International said that intelligence officials forced his father to record a video statement stating that his son died during a car accident
Other examples of state cover up efforts include the cases of two 16-year-old girls, Nika Shakarami and Sarina Esmailzadeh, who were killed after security forces fatally beat them on their heads. Intelligence and security forces have subjected the girls’ families to intense harassment and intimidation to coerce them into recording video statements reiterating the official narrative that their children committed "suicide" by jumping off a roof.
UN Human Rights Council criticized
UN Human Rights Council was subjected to strong criticism in the report, saying, the systemic impunity in Iran for the most serious violations of international law has not been sufficiently addressed by the council.
Amnesty International earlier said that they have seen a leaked official documents, an order issued by the General Headquarters of Armed Forces on 21 September, which instructed the commanders of armed forces in all provinces to "severely confront" protesters who took to the streets following the death in custody of Mahsa Amini.
“The Iranian authorities knowingly decided to harm or kill people who took to the streets to express their anger at decades of repression and injustice," it said.