RFL/RE – Iranian actress and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Mahtab Keramati said she has informed the UN Children’s Fund about reports of children being killed during the ongoing protests in Iran.
Protests triggered by the death of a young Iranian woman after she was detained by the notorious morality police for not wearing the mandatory hijab properly have been violently suppressed by the government over the past three weeks.
At least 154 people, including nine children, have been killed during the 18 days of protest, according to a human rights group.
“I have raised all these issues with UNICEF officials in Iran and will follow up on this matter,” Keramati wrote on her Instagram account on October 6, adding that she condemned any violence, especially against women and children.
She had been widely criticized on social media for being silent about the suppression of children.
In response, she said her silence does not mean passivity or a lack of empathy.
“I am aware of the heartbreaking reports related to the killing, wounding, and arrest of a number of children and teenagers in protests and the use of children under the age of 18 to confront the protesters,” Keramati wrote in an Instagram post.
However, her post was deleted from her Instagram account hours later.
Ashkan Pouyan, a neurosurgeon in the southeastern Iranian city of Zahedan, on October 5 published a picture on social media of a bullet that was removed from the body of a 13-year-old child who was shot in his back in the September 30 massacre in the city.
Pouyan was later reported on social media as missing, while his social network accounts were also disabled.
In recent days, images were posted on Twitter and Instagram of Tehran children appearing to be under the age of 18 wearing helmets and armed with batons which were used to suppress the protesters.