A joint Statement by the Campaign to Stop Honor Killings in Iran, International coalition Against Violence in Iran (ICAVI) & WISE.

Urgent Appeal protect the safety of children in Iran

 Ms. Catherine Mary Russell Executive Director of UNICEF

Ms.Reem Alsalem .Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women and girls
 Mr. Javaid Rahman Special Rapporteur on the situation of human in Iran

Following the murder of Mahsa (Jina) Amini, the 22 years old Kurdish woman by the Guidance Patrol in Tehran in September 2022, millions of Iranians poured on the streets to show their anger at such tragic death, along with their dissatisfaction of the 43 years Islamic rule in Iran. Demonstrations soon spread across the country and outside the borders of Iran and has continued to this date.
One of the major characteristics of these demonstrations has been the presence of young school girls from elementary to high school, who are opposed to the compulsory hijab (head scarf) and the rigid Islamic teachings. They have burnt their scarves in public and chanted slogans for freedom from the rigid, gender biased rules imposed on them by the system.
Throughout weeks long demonstrations, instead of listening to the people, the authorities used every tool in their possession to suppress and silence the people. They have attacked demonstrators on the streets, taking people into custody. Universities such as the renowned Sharif were occupied by the security forces and students taken away. High schools and even elementary girls schools were not spared from assault.
All through these days, instead of listening to the people, the authorities used force to silence the people. In the city of Ardebil, teargas was thrown into Shahid Razi Nezam girl’s high school, where girls were chanting slogans. Some were identified as leaders by the head teacher, Ms Ozra Fateh and her deputy, MS Afzal and 7 of them were taken into custody by plainclothes security forces. This was against the fact that in one of the schools in the city of Karaj, the head teacher, Ms Masoumeh Oghabneshin refused to give access to school cameras and erased the footages and hence she herself was detained.
During demonstrations across Iran, 28 students are known to have been killed on the streets. In an interview with Shargh newspaper, the education minister, Mr Yusef Noori refused to acknowledge the murder of the students and instead confirmed that the detainees have been taken to the correctional detention centers, where psychologists will help to prevent them turn into antisocial elements.
We, as human rights and Women’s rights organizations strongly condemn the assault on school children and their detention and subsequently sending them to the centers alongside juvenile delinquents and demand their immediate release. Assault on the children who use their rights to protest against the compulsory hijab and for a free and fair society is against the UN Convention on the Rights of Child, which Iran is a signatory and the Universal Human Rights Declaration. The photo attached is a 7 years school kid who was killed by direct shot in the town of Bookan.
Iran is in a pivotal moment and protecting our children from harm is our duty and responsibility.
We urge all international organizations such as UNICEF to intervene and stop the assaults on school children by agents of the government of Iran and the release those taken into custody.
All human beings have a right to free speech, to freedom of expression, freedom to choose what they wear and a life free of unwanted restrictions.


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