In a report released on March 4, Amnesty International said it has uncovered evidence that at least 23 children between the ages of 12 and 17 were killed by Iranian security forces in the nationwide protests in November last year.
Amnesty International has gathered the evidence from videos and photographs, death and burial certificates, as well as accounts from eyewitness and victims’ relatives.
“There must be independent and impartial investigations into these killings, and those suspected of ordering and carrying them out must be prosecuted in fair trials,” Philip Luther, Research and Advocacy Director for the Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty International has said.
The protests across the country sparked by a three-fold spike in the price of gasoline started on November 15 and lasted until November 19.
According to the report at least 22 of the children were shot dead by Iranian security forces unlawfully firing live ammunition at unarmed protesters and bystanders, according to the findings.
In 10 cases, Amnesty International learned from the description of injuries on the death or burial certificates it reviewed or information it received from credible sources that the deaths occurred as a result of gunshots to the head or torso – indicating that the security forces were shooting to kill.
Radio Farda’s investigation published in a detailed report on December 9 had previously shown that at least 18 children had been killed in the protests, many of them in the provinces of Khuzestan and Kermanshah.
Twelve of the 23 deaths recorded by Amnesty International took place on 16 November, a further eight on 17 November, and three on 18 November.
“The fact that the vast majority of the children’s deaths took place over just two days is further evidence that Iranian security forces went on a killing spree to quash dissent at any cost,” Philip Luther saidsaid .
Despite the Iranian public’s demands Iranian officials have not released any official figures on the death toll of the November protests or the number of people who were arrested during the unrest.
In a report on December 23 Reuters said its sources in Iran had confirmed a death toll of 1,500 based on information gathered from security forces, morgues, hospitals, and coroner’s offices. The figure was much higher than the figure announced by Amnesty International which stood at 304. Iranian authorities have vehemently denied these figures.