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UNICEF Condemns Violence against Children in Iran Protests

UNICEF Condemns Violence against Children in Iran Protests

Tuesday, 29 November, 2022 - 10:30
Iranians protest the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini (AP)

The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) denounced the violence and abuse that killed more than 50 children and injured dozens of others during the public unrest in Iran.

The agency demanded ending the raids and searches conducted at some schools and said schools must always be safe places for children.

It condemned "all violence against children," calling for an end to "all forms of violence and abuse that have reportedly claimed the lives of over 50 children and injured many more during the public unrest in Iran."

UNICEF directly "communicated its concerns to the authorities in Iran since the first cases of child casualties occurred in response to the protests."

Iran is a party to the Convention on the Rights of the Child and should respect, protect, and fulfill children's rights to life, privacy, freedom of thought, and peaceful assembly, said the agency.

"UNICEF urges the authorities to respect the rights of all children to peaceful assembly as a fundamental guarantee – no matter who they are or where they are."

The agency asserted that the "best interest of children should be at the center of government action, creating ways where children can safely claim their rights in all circumstances."

It stressed that children must remain with their families, communities, and schools, not in places that deprive them of their liberty.

UNICEF echoed the UN Secretary-General's call to security forces to "refrain from using unnecessary or disproportionate force.

Children and adolescents must be protected from all forms of harm that risk their lives, freedom, and mental and physical health."

It also noted that many parents had experienced the devastating loss of a child from the unrest, expressing its "deepest sympathy to them, and their loved ones and communities impacted by these events."

The Human Rights Activists News Agency (Hrana) reported that as of November 26, 450 protesters had been killed during the unrest, including 63 minors. It added that 60 members of the security forces were killed, and the authorities arrested 18,173

Iran did not announce an official death toll for the protesters, but Deputy Foreign Minister Ali Bagheri Kani said that about 50 policemen had been killed in the protests since September 16.

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