Iranian authorities have arrested about 1,000 children between the ages of nine and 17 in the southwestern province of Khuzestan following the November anti-government protests in the country, the Ahwaz Human Rights Organisation (AHRO) sources reported. 

The arrested children have been transferred to a juvenile detention center in the city of Khorramshahr (Muhammara), say AHRO’s sources. 

The majority of these children were arrested for either being outdoors late at night during the protests or participating in peaceful gatherings in protest of the arrest of their parents or other family members. 

More than 2,500 people have been arrested throughout the province of Khuzestan during the protests, according to AHRO’s sources. 

The arrestees are kept in worrying conditions at police stations, military barracks, and security and intelligence centers.  

AHRO’s sources added that the arrestees are tortured for forced confessions, and the poor state of food and hygiene, particularly for those who were wounded due to security forces firing at protesters, have left these detention centers in dire straits. 

A total of 850 arrestees have been transferred to the Ahwaz Central Prison in Khuzestan’s city of Sheyban and are suffering from poor conditions due to lack of space and health facilities.

A further 300 of the arrestees from Khuzestan’s city of Abadan are held in dire straits in the courtyard of the city’s prison due to insufficient place. 

These arrestees were recently transferred to this prison and had previously been held at schools, police stations, intelligence and IRGC centers. Signs of torture were seen on many of the arrestees’ bodies.

The parents of some of the arrestees who have been able to meet their children say that the arrestees are only given one meal a day. As a result, some families have had to bribe prison guards to give their children some food they bring in when meeting their children. 

Security forces have also arrested between 600 and 700 people in city of Mahshahr (Ma’shour) and transferred them to a warehouse in the city. The arrestees are reportedly held in dire conditions due to lack of food and health facilities in the warehouse. 

Ahwaz Human Rights Organisation (AHRO)

15 December 2019