Amnesty International yesterday accusing Iran of widespread human rights abuses during a security crackdown on anti-government protests last year, Reuters reported.
In a report, the rights group said detained protesters were subjected to “rape, enforced disappearance, torture and other ill-treatment” for their involvement in the mass demonstrations which broke out in November 2019.
The protests began over fuel price hikes but turned broadly political when thousands of demonstrators across the country demanded top officials step down.
“Those arrested included peaceful protesters and bystanders, among whom were schoolchildren as young as 10 years old,” Amnesty said in its report, adding that security forces used “waterboarding, beating, flogging, electric shocks, pepper-spraying genitals, sexual violence, mock executions, pulling out nails and solitary confinement” against detainees.
Iranian authorities said some 200,000 people took part in the protests, while the head of parliament’s national security committee said at least 7,000 were arrested.
“Instead of investigating allegations of enforced disappearance, torture and other ill-treatment and other crimes against detainees, Iranian prosecutors became complicit in the campaign of repression by bringing national security charges against hundreds of people solely for exercising their rights to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly, while judges doled out guilty verdicts on the basis of torture-tainted ‘confessions’,” Diana Eltahawy, Amnesty International’s Deputy Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa, said in the report.
READ: Jailed Iran activist Nasrin Sotoudeh goes on hunger strike