The UN's body for humanitarian and developmental aid to children, UNICEF, has called for the protection of children and adolescents amid Islamic Republic’s crackdown on popular protests.
In a statement on Monday, UNICEF Executive Director Catherine Russell said, “We are extremely concerned by continuing reports of children and adolescents being killed, injured and detained amid the ongoing public unrest in Iran.”
Describing violence against children – by anyone and in any context – as “indefensible,” she called for “the protection of all children from all forms of violence and harm, including during conflict and political events.”
Echoing the UN Secretary-General’s call to the authorities to refrain from using unnecessary or disproportionate force, she said that “Children and adolescents must be able to exercise their rights in a safe and peaceful manner at all times.”
According to Norway-based Iran Human Rights organization said on Saturday, October 8, that at least 19 children have been killed in protests across Iran since mid-September, when 22-year-old Mahsa Amini was killed in custody of hijab police. The Oslo-based organization added that at least 185 people have been killed in the government’s crackdown on the uprising.
The protests first erupted in Mahsa Amini’s hometown Saqqez and capital Tehran and soon spread to other cities and garnered support from Iranian expatriate communities around the world as well as foreign governments and officials.