Iranian security forces have started using more drastic measures to quell protests across the country, even targeting children who joined the protests against the regime.
“The uprising today, on the third anniversary of the 2019 uprising across Iran, especially in the capital Tehran … the massive mobilization of the suppressive forces, warnings and threats by regime officials make it palpably clear that no amount of crackdown can stem the tide of revolution in Iran,” Ali Safavi, a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Paris-based National Council of Resistance of Iran, told Fox News Digital.
“The power of the protests is far greater than that of the forces of repression,” he continued. “Today, protests in Tehran reached a new level of intensity.”
Protests spread across Iran following the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, eventually reaching over 140 cities and towns in the biggest pushback against the regime since the infamous 2019 uprisings.
The 2019 demonstrations started following a significant hike in fuel prices. What began as peaceful protests and demands for a change in leadership ended in massacre as the regime ended up taking the lives of an estimated 1,500 citizens.
The current protests have now continued for two months, with little sign of slowing down as the regime increases its retaliation. A Revolutionary Court this week handed down the first death sentence to a protestor for “enmity against God” after attacking government buildings with arson.
Additionally, Iranian security forces have started targeting teenagers and children at the protests, according to the New York Times. Officers have allegedly incarcerated a 14-year-old alongside adult prisoners and beaten a 13-year-old girl while in plain clothes.
Officials have said that the average age of protesters is 15, according to the Times. Some have even died as part of the regime’s indiscriminate crackdown. The regime treats the youth protestors no different from how it treats the adults.
However, Safavi insists that the spirit of rebellion remains strong within the people, who continue to demand a change in leadership
“With their chants of ‘We will respond to fire with fire’ and ‘We will fight, we will die, we will take back Iran,’ the people of Iran across all generations, all social sectors, and all nationalities exhibited their determination to overthrow the ruling religious dictatorship and establish a free, democratic, and secular republic,” Safavi said.
At least 326 protesters have died in violent crackdowns by security forces, according to the Iran Human Rights NGO, and some 14,000 have been arrested, according to the United Nations. The Human Rights Activists News Agency put the total closer to 341, with around 15,800 others detained.