Protests sparked by the death of a young woman Mahsa Amini in police custody have continued across Iran since September.
Reports of ongoing violence by Iranian security forces against protesters and reports of arbitrary arrests and killings, and detention of children are all the more worrying.
A human rights group says security forces have killed at least 328 people while trying to stop protests calling for social freedoms and political change that have rocked the country over the past two months.
The US-based Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) reported that at least 50 children were killed between September 17 and November 8 due to the brutal acts of the Iranian authorities.
According to lawyers in Iran and human rights activists familiar with this issue, young people, including teenage boys and girls, with an average age of 15, are the main targets of clashes with security forces on the streets, on university campuses, and at high schools.
Some of them were beaten and arrested, and others were shot and killed in the streets or beaten in the custody of the security services. Many other lives were disrupted when the authorities stepped in to crack down on dissent in schools.
The New York Times reported that a 14-year-old girl was detained in an adult prison along with drug offenders. At the same time, a 16-year-old boy suffered a broken nose after being mistreated by security officers in detention. A 13-year-old girl was reportedly attacked by plainclothes militia raiding her school.
While the Islamic Republic has not provided accurate figures regarding those arrested during the protests but according to the United Nations, at least 14,000 people have been arrested, and even the Iranian government went so far as to sentence one defendant – who was not named – to death for setting fire to a government building.
Following reports of Iran unleashing its wrath on its youth in an unusual manner and scale, UN Human Rights Council OHCHR urges the authorities to stop all use of unnecessary and disproportionate force against protesters and urges them to address the underlying causes of the alienated population’s grievances – instead of using force to suppress protests.