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In a suburb of the Iranian capital, Tehran, 35 female students were hospitalized due to symptoms of poisoning. There have been similar incidents elsewhere in Iran recently. It is suspected that this is deliberate: the perpetrators want to force girls’ schools to close.
Stories about poisonings have appeared in the local media for some time. Gone earlier this month According to the BBC In the city of Qom, at least a hundred people took to the streets, pleading with the authorities for the safety of their daughters.
Earlier this month, schoolgirls from Qom were already hospitalized due to poisoning:
Iranian schoolgirls poisoned: ‘I can’t walk anymore’
Last week, the Iranian authorities issued a statement about the case. The Ministry of Health announced that since last November, girls had been poisoned through the air circulation system in several schools.
Nausea and dizziness
The incidents occurred mainly in and around the holy city of Qom for Shiite Muslims. Dozens of schools were said to have been damaged, resulting in hundreds of casualties, most of them ten-year-olds. The girls became nauseous, dizzy, and had difficulty breathing. There were no deaths, but several girls were hospitalized.
Iran’s deputy health minister said on Sunday that it has been proven that “some personalities want to close schools, especially girls’ schools.” However, he later said that his words had been misunderstood. But the Public Prosecutor announced that he had opened an investigation. The suspects are not in the picture yet.
According to the reformist Iranian newspaper, Sharq, intimidation through air circulation systems has an effect. It is said that many parents in Qom have already taken their children out of school.
In recent decades, girls’ education has not been a point of discussion in Iran, as it has been in neighboring Afghanistan. However, Iran is a country with a strict Islamic regime, where radical fundamentalists have a big toe in the pie.
Therefore, the events embarrass the Iranian authorities. According to the BBC, the contradictory statements of the Deputy Minister of Health indicate that the regime is worried about a possible new popular anger after the massive anti-regime protests by Iranian standards in the last months of last year.
Those demonstrations, which began in September after the death of an Iranian Kurdish woman after her arrest, have been brutally crushed by the regime. Activists say hundreds have been killed and at least 20,000 arrested.
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