We must not turn off the spotlight on what is happening in Iran. It has now been six months since protests took hold across the Islamic Republic.
It all started with the death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Kurdish student, arrested because a lock of hair was falling out of her hijab and died while in the custody of the morality police. Since that day, the revolt against the Islamic Republic and Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has spread to 161 cities and all 31 provinces of the country. The regime’s response was a very violent repression against demonstrators. The frightening numbers, updated to February 18: 530 victims among the demonstrators, 70 among the forces of the regime, 22 thousand people arrested, according to the Iranian regime but the number could be greater. However, what inspires more fear is how minors are being treated. The news of the last few days is chilling. In fact, together with women, minors are among the protagonists of the revolt and inhuman treatment is reserved for them. We remind you that among these there are also 12-year-old children.
The violence against children
According to reports from Amnesty International, young people arrested are a more than significant portion. There is talk of thousands of children locked up in prisons or detention centers run by the Pasdaran. Physical and psychological violence, rapes, sexual assaults are very common. According to the story of a former prisoner, a group of Basiji forced children to stand with their legs spread next to adult prisoners to shock them with electric shocks on the genitals. Another child said he was raped with a hose and then forced to say what they wanted. Beatings, whippings, electric shocks, waterboarding, and the obligation to take unknown medicines. All with the threat that if they returned to the streets, the Revolutionary Guards would arrest them again and then hand over the lifeless bodies to their parents. Other youths were suspended tied by the arms for hours. Someone else was suffocated. The only way out of this hell was to write letters of repentance and promise to refrain from political activity.
The poisoning of the schoolgirls
Not forgetting that thousands of young students have been poisoned in their schools. The culprits appear to be radical religious groups who want girls out of school and would like to deny them the right to education, as the Taliban are doing in Afghanistan. There have been over 5,000 mysterious cases of poisoning in schools since the end of November. The ECR publicly expressed itself on this news stating: “The poisoning of schoolgirls is a frontal attack on girls’ educations, which has so far gone unchallenged in Iran. The Islamic Republic’s regime’s months of inaction and deliberate suppression of credible reports of systematic poisoning of the girls is unacceptable”. After an initial silence from the regime, Supreme Guide Khamenei promised very severe penalties for those responsible. Ebrhaim Raisi himself has called for an internal investigation, stating that the poisonings are “an enemy plan”. The truth has not yet been disclosed and there are ongoing investigations to find the culprits. According to activists the intoxications are a revenge of the ayatollahs against the female students, guilty of having supported the anti-government protests starting with the refusal to wear the veil.
This is also why it is necessary not to stop observing what is happening in Iran. Young people scare the regime. As proof of this, just in the last few days, on Charshanbesuri’, the night before the last Wednesday before the Iranian New Year, the police in Tehran closed the schools to avoid demonstrations. Let us not abandon to repression and violence those who dream of being free and who today, however, are victims of the worst violence. Also, because young Iranians do not want to abandon their traditions, they are free from ideologies, they simply want to be able to decide freely what to do with their lives.