Iran authorities coercing families of children killed by security forces into silence: Amnesty

Iran authorities coercing families of children killed by security forces into silence: Amnesty
Iran's security forces have used cruel tactics to coerce families of children killed at the protests into silence, including threatening not to return their bodies, Amnesty International said.
2 min read
10 December, 2022
Iranian authorities have reportedly killed scores of children during the protests [Creative Touch Imaging Ltd./NurPhoto via Getty]

Iranian authorities are covering up the killings of children killed by security forces during the ongoing Iran protests by forcing their families into silence, Amnesty International said Friday.

Iran's security forces have threatened not to return the bodies of the children to their families unless they commit not to speak out and observe the restrictions on funeral and memorial ceremonies. 

In some cases, the authorities reportedly prepared the victims’ bodies for burial without notifying the families, preventing them from washing the body according to their own traditions. 

"The authorities have been killing children in a bid to crush the spirit of resistance among the country’s youth and retain their iron grip on power at any cost," said Heba Morayef, Amnesty International’s Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa. 

"The authorities have not only condemned families of children killed to a lifetime of inconsolable sadness, but they have also inflicted extreme mental anguish upon them through cruel restrictions on burials, commemorations and relentless intimidation aimed at enforcing silence," she added. 

An investigation by the rights group concluded that at least 44 children have been killed by the government so far, representing 14 percent of the deaths of protesters and bystanders killed during the protests. 

These include 34 of whom were shot with live ammunition, while five others - four girls and one boy - were beaten to death. 

Some of the children were as young as two years old. 

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Widespread protests have engulfed Iran following the death of Mahsa Amini, a Kurdish Iranian woman who was arrested for wearing her headscarf 'improperly' in September. She was allegedly beaten to death in custody. 

At least 475 people have been killed since the protests began, according to rights group HRANA, and more than 18,000 others have reportedly been arrested.