As the death toll death from Iran’s coronavirus outbreak comes to light, the brutal killing of children during the November 2019 uprising is one of the crimes that Mahmoud Abbasi, the regime’s Deputy Justice Minister for “Human Rights Affairs,” admitted unintentionally.
In an interview with Etemad Online website, on 2 April 2020, he spoke about the killed and arrested children by the authorities during the uprising and said:
“In terms of children, we do not have detained children, which means people under the age of 18. There were few people who were released …. but the exact number of injured is still unknown… Many of these people and children were the ones who were injured and killed as a result of the riots and lost their lives and were injured.
“Some of them were children, who make up people under the age of 18 … Measures must be taken to appease their families. Of course, those people who took advantage of these riots and looted people’s property and set them on fire must be separated from those who are victims of this scene, and all the officials emphasized this point. In any case, we hope that the support of the authorities for the victims of this incident will heal the wounds of their families.”
The remarks are a clear acknowledgment by a government official as the regime’s deputy justice minister that a large number of children under the age of 18 were killed and injured in violence and killings by security forces in November.
But when the reporter asked him if he was following up on the November uprising to determine the number of children killed, he replied bluntly: “As I said, we only act in our own area of work – the children’s debate.”
But the journalist persisted in tracking down the number of children killed, and asked, “You mean, you yourself will not interfere?” He replied emphatically:
“No. I said we don’t have a hand in the execution. Given that it is our duty to protect the rights of the child, we must monitor and follow up on these issues and inform the relevant authorities that they are doing what they need to do to protect them.”
Like most times, he refused to give a definite answer regarding the statistics, stating that the statistics of the killings of children is a red line for the regime and in the area of the decision-making of the regime’s criminal leaders which have been silenced so far.
The fact is that the regime, under social pressure and fear of a massive social explosion because of the killings in the November uprisings and the secrecy of the real death toll of the coronavirus outbreak, needs such safety valves in order to keep the situation calm.