Iranian security forces have been systematically targeting the eyes of demonstrators in their crackdown on the protests that have swept the country since September, a human rights group said on Friday.Norway-based Iran Human Rights said initial data indicated young women were disproportionately represented among people who had sustained such wounds. A Tehran newspaper earlier this week asked a top police commander if security forces had been targeting the eyes and other sensitive areas.

He insisted on their good conduct. IHR said protesters had been shot in the head and the face, leading “to many, including a significant number of young women, being blinded.” It said this “inhumane and unlawful act” had been “carried out systematically to crush protests.”

IHR said it had documented 22 cases of people being blinded in one eye as a result of fire from the security forces, nine of them women. The youngest person wounded — Bonita Kiani Falavarjani, aged just six, from the city of Isfahan — was shot and blinded in one eye while standing on her grandfather´s balcony, it said.

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