According to the human rights organization Amnesty International, the Iranian authorities have used torture methods, including sexual violence, against detained children as part of a crackdown on recent protests.
“Iranian intelligence and security forces have committed horrific acts of torture, including beatings, flogging, electric shocks, rape and other sexual violence against children as young as 12 to quell their involvement in nationwide protests,” Amnesty said on Thursday.
A report by the group uncovered “the methods of torture used by the Revolutionary Guards, the paramilitary Basij, the Public Security Police and other security and intelligence forces against boys and girls in custody to punish and humiliate them and extract ‘confessions’ from them blackmail”. ”
Diana Eltahawy, Amnesty International’s Deputy Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa, said Iran’s “violence against children exposes a deliberate strategy to destroy the vibrant spirit of the country’s youth and prevent them from demanding freedom and human rights.”
Amnesty “received testimonies from the victims and their families, as well as further testimony about the widespread torture against dozens of children from 19 eyewitnesses, including two lawyers, and 17 adult detainees who were being held with children,” the human rights group said.
The protests were first ignited by the death of 22-year-old Iranian Mahsa Amini, who died on September 16, 2022 after being arrested by the country’s vice squad.
Iran has admitted to detaining more than 22,000 people during the protests, but has not said how many were children, according to Amnesty. The group estimates that thousands of children could be among those arrested.
Amnesty also said that “state agents used rape and other sexual violence, including electric shocks to genitals, genital touching and threats of rape, as a weapon against child detainees to break their courage, humiliate and punish them and/or extract ‘confessions’ blackmail. ”
“Other torture methods reported include flogging, being electrocuted with electric prods, forcibly administering unidentified pills and holding children’s heads under water,” added the Amnesty report.
Amnesty called on Iran to release all children detained for peaceful protests and called on other countries to “exercise universal jurisdiction over Iranian officials, including those with authority or higher responsibility, who are reasonably criminally responsible for crimes under international law.” , including the torture of children, protesters are suspected.”
CNN has reached out to the Iranian government for comment but has not yet received a response, and the government has not publicly commented on the report.
In February, CNN revealed the existence of an extensive network of illegal secret prisons, or black sites, in Iran.
The methods of repression and torture carried out in this shadowy network seem even more horrific than the regular harsh treatment arrested protesters can expect in legal detention centers.
CNN has reached out to the Iranian government for comment on allegations of torture and abuse at these unofficial locations, but has received no response.
Source : www.cnn.com