17 Kurdish juveniles detained by Iranian security forces in 2020

According to statistics recorded by the Statistics and Documentation Data Center of Hengaw Human Rights Organization, during 2020, at least 17 juveniles under the age of 18 were detained by the security agencies of the Islamic Republic of Iran in various cities in Iranian Kurdistan. The youngest of these were two 15-year-olds.

Most of the detainees, 14, were detained on charges of political activities and collaborating with Kurdish opposition parties, and 3 juveniles were detained on charges of religious activities, the organization said.

Hengaw stated that in most of the registered cases, judicial references to the protection rights of children, including restrictions on pre-trial detention, immediate access to family, prohibition of physical and psychological pressure, and access to legal counsel, were not observed.

“For example, interrogation without a child protection legal mechanism has taken place, and in some cases, detainees have been beaten by interrogators. Detained children were also deprived of general rules observing the time of detention, such as informing the families, medical examination, and access to legal services.”

Hengaw said: “It is worth mentioning that according to the rules of the Convention on the Rights of the Children, to which the Iranian Government has acceded, and Article 9 of the Civil Code provides for domestic law, pre-trial detention should be used as a last resort. Accordingly, domestic law provides for such a thing in Article 277 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. Therefore, the principle is to entrust the child or adolescent to a parent or legal guardian, and detention during a preliminary investigation is possible if necessary under exceptional circumstances.”

According to this report, the highest number of detained juveniles has been recorded in Kurdistan province (Sanandaj), which is 9 cases, in West Azerbaijan province (Urmia) 6 cases and in Kermanshah province 2 cases.