Sept. 2 (UPI) -- Amnesty International said Wednesday Iran used torture to force confessions during a crackdown on protests against rising gas prices last year and condemned some activists to die for minor crimes.
The human rights organization said Iranian authorities arrested 7,000 in the sweep, some as young as 10 years old, and conducted a widespread Internet blackout during the protests.
The 80-page report said punishments for arrested protesters included beatings, floggings, electric shocks, stress positions, mock executions, waterboarding, sexual violence, forced administration of chemical substances and deprivation of medical care.
The report said Iranian authorities also conducted "grossly unfair trials on baseless national security charges" and gave death sentences based on confessions extracted by torture.
"In the days following the mass protests (in late 2019), videos showing Iran's security forces deliberately killing and injuring unarmed protesters and bystanders sent shock waves around the world," Diana Eltahawy, Amnesty International's deputy regional director for the Middle East and North Africa, said in a statement.
"Instead of investigating allegations of enforced disappearance, torture and other ill treatment and other crimes against detainees, Iranian prosecutors became complicit in the campaign of repression by bringing national security charges against hundreds of people solely for exercising their rights to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly, while judges doled out guilty verdicts on the basis of torture-tainted 'confessions.'"
Amnesty International said at least three protesters -- Amirhossein Moradi, Mohammad Rajabi and Saeed Tamjidi -- were sentenced to death for vandalism.
"The organization believes that the real number of individuals prosecuted and sentenced in connection with the November 2019 protests is far higher, given the large number of arrests carried out and the patterns of prosecution and sentencing in the country in cases of arbitrary arrests and detention involving intelligence and security bodies."