Thoroughly Appalling

by Pejman Yousefzadeh on March 13, 2011

Not content with suppressing the rights of the Iranian people, the regime in Iran believes that it also ought to use kids as thugs and enforcers, imbuing them with a disgusting moral code in the process:

Iran’s Islamic regime is using “child soldiers” to suppress anti-government demonstrations, a tactic that could breach international law forbidding the use of underage combatants, human rights activists have told the Observer.

The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran says troops aged between 14 and 16 have been armed with batons, clubs and air guns and ordered to attack demonstrators who have tried to gather in Tehran. The youths – apparently recruited from rural areas – are being deployed in regular riot police roles and comprise up to one-third of the total force, according to witnesses.

One middle-aged woman, who said she was attacked by the youths, reported that some were as young as 12 and were possibly prepubescent. They had rural accents, which indicated they had been brought in from villages far from Tehran, she said.

Some told her they had been attracted by the promise of chelo kebab dinners, one of Iran’s national dishes.

“It’s really a violation of international law. It’s no different than child soldiers, which is the custom in many zones of conflict,” said Hadi Ghaemi, the campaign’s executive director. “They are being recruited into being part of the conflict and armed for it.”

The UN convention on the rights of the child requires states to take “all feasible measures to ensure that persons who have not attained the age of 15 years do not take a direct part in hostilities”.

Just when I think that the regime cannot get any more depraved, it goes ahead and gets more depraved. I wish that I could say that the solution is for me to not believe that the regime cannot get more depraved, but alas, life isn’t that simple, now is it?

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