Authored by the CACAP Advocacy Commitee
The Canadian Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (CACAP) is deeply concerned about the ongoing situation in Iran. We stand in opposition to the brutality of the Iranian regime, joining in solidarity with the Iranian people and the worldwide demonstrators sparked by the death of Mahsa Amini while in the custody of Iran’s “morality police.”
Women, religious and ethnic minority groups, and the LGBTQ+/- populations face systematic discrimination and are the most at risk. Children and youth are among those being targeted, detained in police custody, and killed. Schools have been raided and high school students have been arrested for joining the protests ignited by Amini’s death.
Freedom of speech is absent. Excessive force, physical and sexual assault, interrogation, arbitrary detention, imprisonment, and torture are current realities and risks1. Some of these children and youth are taken by police to “psychological counselling centres.”
Medical and psychiatric care has become an instrument of social control and state repression. Iranianphysicians are now on the streets being beaten and shot while they protest the brutality of the regime and the control over their medical care for victims.
CACAP appeals to our government, world leaders, and the United Nations to make every effort to stop the atrocities taking place in Iran. The United Nations’ Convention on the Rights of the Child and Universal Declaration of Human Rights must be upheld. Mental health care should not be used as a guise for detention of citizens for political purposes.
1. Freedom House. (2022, September 27). Iranian people deserve freedom of assembly, speech, and information: The government’s brutal crackdown on recent demonstrations is an unacceptable assault on fundamental human rights [Press release]. https://freedomhouse.org/