The HRW research was based on photographs of tombstones in Iranian cemeteries where combatants killed in Syria had been buried. One of the eight graves showed a 14-year-old buried in the martyr’s section of Tehran’s Behesht-e-Zahra cemetery.
Iranian media reported confirmation of some of the cases and cited six others of Afghan child soldiers who had died in Syria.
The HRW Middle East director Sarah Leah Whitson said, “Iran should immediately end the recruitment of child soldiers and bring back any Afghan children it has sent to fight in Syria.”
Afghans seeking residency documents in Iran
There are an estimated 2.5 million Afghans living in Iran, according to Iran’s interior ministry. Many do not have residency documents.
According to media reports, the Fatemiyoun division may number 14,000 fighters who have been trained and supported by Iran. Set up in 2013, there are no official statistics on the group.
One 29-year-old Afghan identified by HRW as “Ali” told the researchers in August that he joined the Fatemiyoun division after a recruiter told him he could renew his Iranian residency permit more easily if he joined up.
“They never asked me to show any documentation, but they wanted to make sure we were Afghan nationals,” Ali told Human Rights Watch. “We had to be above age 18 to be recruited, but they only asked for our age, not any documentation.”
Sepehri Far, a HRW researcher in the Middle East, said: “It does not appear to be a deliberate policy to recruit children.” She suggested, “It’s more of a sloppiness that the authorities and recruiters don’t care enough to ask for proof of age.”
The rights of Afghan children
Iran says offically that all Afghans living in Iran who join the Fatemiyoun division are volunteers. In 2015, Iran allowed all Afghan children to register for school after Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei stated: “No Afghan child, even the undocumented ones, should be left out of school.”
According to international law, military recruits must be at least 18 and the training or deployment of soldiers younger than 15 is considered to be a war crime. Under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, “conscripting or enlisting children under the age of 15 years into national armed forces or using them to participate actively in hostilities” is a war crime.
In light of the evidence in its report, HRW has called on the United Nations to investigate child recruitment in Iran and to consider adding the IRGC to the list of those carrying out violations against children.
Iran Briefing | News Press Focus on Human Rights Violation by IRGC, Iran Human Rights
Nov 16, 2018 Comments Off on Why Iran executed the “Sultan of Coins” for hoarding gold as U.S. sanctions bite
Nov 16, 2018 Comments Off on Iran Was Closer to a Nuclear Bomb Than Intelligence Agencies Thought
Nov 13, 2018 Comments Off on Trump sanctions on Iran could spark ‘COLD WAR in Middle East’ and ‘bankrupt’ economy
Nov 13, 2018 Comments Off on U.S. Sanctions Against Iran Might Not Prove Important To Oil Markets
Nov 16, 2018 Comments Off on Iran sanctions reimposed and in full effect
Nov 16, 2018 Comments Off on Countering Iran’s Global Terrorism
Nov 15, 2018 Comments Off on Iran IRGC Brags About Its “Bases From Red Sea To Mediterranean”, Suggests US Will Leave Iraq
Nov 15, 2018 Comments Off on Iran Is In A Depression Due To The Currency’s Collapse And Civil Unrest
Nov 13, 2018 Comments Off on U.S. Sanctions Against Iran Might Not Prove Important To Oil MarketsU.S. Sanctions Against Iran Might Not Prove Important To Oil Markets U.S. Sanctions Against Iran Might Not Prove Important To Oil Markets So, U.S. sanctions on Iran were fully implemented on Monday, fully but not...
Nov 09, 2018 Comments Off on CAN SANCTIONS BRING REGIME CHANGE IN IRAN?CAN SANCTIONS BRING REGIME CHANGEIN IRAN? CAN SANCTIONS BRING REGIME CHANGEIN IRAN? On November 5, the United States imposed a comprehensive set of sanctions on Iran, which were characterized by United States...
Jul 14, 2016 Comments Off on Corps’ one hundred thousand of triggered missiles in Lebanon:An official Israel-threatening by CorpsIran Briefing: Since August 7, 1979, when Ayatollah Khomeini declared the last Friday of Ramadhan as “Quds Day”, the Islamic Republic has always tried to hold an imposing ceremony by using state resources as well as requiring people’s involvement. This year’s Quds march had fundamental...