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Iranian Authorities to Investigate ‘Revenge’ Poisoning of Schoolgirls

Hundreds of schoolgirls were poisoned in Iran to prevent them from attending school

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Sadaf Hasan
Sadaf Hasan
Aspiring reporter covering trending topics

IRAN: Iranian officials have confirmed that they are investigating claims that several schoolgirls were poisoned as “revenge” for the part that young women played in recent demonstrations against the mandatory hijab.  

“After the poisoning of several students in [the city of] Qom… it was found that some people wanted to close all schools, especially girls’ schools,” Younes Panahi, Iran’s deputy education minister, told reporters yesterday.

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“It has been revealed that the chemical compounds used to poison students are not war chemicals… The poisoned students do not need aggressive treatment, and a large percentage of the chemical agents used are treatable,” he added.

A member of the parliament’s health committee named Dr. Homayoun Sameyah Najafabadi also confirmed the intentional poisoning of young women “in cities such as Qom and Borujerd.”

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“With the available data, the most probable cause of this poisoning could be a weak organophosphate agent. Even if some of the poisoned pupils show signs of severe sweating, excess salivation, vomiting, intestinal hypermotility, and diarrhoea, then the attack was done using this agent,” a doctor who specialises in treating poisoned patients spoke to the media under the condition of anonymity.

“They want to take revenge on the schoolgirls, who are the pioneers of the recent protests,” the doctor said, adding that he had never treated someone who had been poisoned by organophosphate agents before and that the only case he treated was that of those workers who had been exposed to these components in agricultural pesticides while working.

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Girls have stopped attending school as a result of the attacks. A teacher from Qom, which is located about 85 miles south of Iran’s capital Tehran, said only 50 students attended the class 250. While the inquiry is ongoing, several schools have been closed after last week’s irate parent demonstration outside the governor’s office in Qom.

To “demand an explanation” from the authorities, parents of sick students gathered outside the city’s governorate on February 14, according to IRNA.

The next day, government spokesman Ali Bahadori Jahromi said that the intelligence and education departments were looking into where the poisonings came from.

The prosecutor general, Mohammad Jafar Montazeri, asked for an investigation into the events to be done last week.

The poisonings are happening at a time when Iran is in turmoil after Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Iranian Kurd, died in custody on December 16 after allegedly breaking the strict dress code for women.

Also Read: Iran Frees Spanish Woman Detained 3 Months Ago over Anti-hijab Protests


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