The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, a local human rights-centered non-governmental organization, has claimed that the Iranian government is using “child soldiers” to disperse and suppress anti-government protests. According to the group, the government’s strategy, which includes arming troops aged 14-16 years with batons, air guns and clubs and ordering them to attack protesters, could breach international laws that forbid the use of underaged soldiers, the Guardian reports.
“It’s really a violation of international law. It’s no different than child soldiers, which is the custom in many zones of conflict,” the U.K.-based newspaper quotes Hadi Ghaemi, the group’s executive director. “They are being recruited into being part of the conflict and armed for it.”