Iran’s intelligence and security forces have been committing horrific acts of torture, against child protesters as young as 12 to quell their involvement in nationwide protests, Amnesty International reported Thursday.
Such acts include beatings, flogging, electric shocks, rape and other sexual violence, it said.
Before releasing them, state agents often threatened children with prosecution on charges carrying the death penalty or with the arrest of their relatives if they complained, the report added.
Iran has been swept by protests since the death of a young Iranian Kurdish woman in the custody of the country's morality police last September.
Iranian authorities have admitted that the total number of people detained in connection with the protests was above 22,000. While they have not provided a breakdown of how many of those detained were children, state media reported that children comprised a significant portion of protesters.
“Iranian state agents have torn children away from their families and subjected them to unfathomable cruelties. It is abhorrent that officials have wielded such power in a criminal manner over vulnerable and frightened children,” said Diana Eltahawy, Amnesty International’s Deputy Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa.
“The authorities must immediately release all children detained solely for peacefully protesting.”