| 1 December 2023, Friday |

Iranian schoolgirls hit by latest poisoning attack shortly after resumption of classes

Just a day after the Iranian schools resumed classes after the Persian New Year break, About 20 Iranian schoolgirls were hospitalised following the latest series of mysterious poisoning attacks in Tabriz, over 600 km northwest of Tehran.
A spree of poisoning attacks that are being reported from Tehran since over four months have drawn widespread condemnation. These poisonings are being seen in connection with women’s rights protests which broke in Iran after the custodial death of 22-year-old Kurdish woman Mahsa Al-Amini in September last year.
The poisoned girls are under treatment after they suffered shortness of breath, according to the head of the emergency service in West Azerbaijan, news agency ISNA reported.

None of the latest victims of the latest poisoning attack are critical, state media reported, adding that the condition for all the schoolgirls remains stable, he added.

Since November 2022, an estimated 5,000 school girls have complained about nausea, breathing difficulties and heart palpitations due to the poisoning incidences. Across Iran, parents have protested the poisoning incidents while urging authorities to ensure the safety of girls.
The United Nations has slammed Iran for failing to stop the “deliberate poisonings” of the schoolgirls, and has urged the Islamic Republic to conduct independent probes into the matter.

According to the United Nations, the first poisoning of schoolgirls in Iran was reported on November 30, 2022, in the city of Qom, as per the UN. Since then, targeted chemical attacks against girls’ schools have been reported in more than 91 schools across 20 provinces.
“The poisonings have already resulted in hundreds of schoolgirls being hospitalised. Many parents have removed their daughters from school for fear of these attacks,” UN said.

“We are deeply concerned about the physical and mental well-being of these schoolgirls; their parents and the ability of the girls to enjoy their fundamental right to education. While arrests have just been announced, we remain gravely disturbed by the fact that for several months, State authorities not only failed to swiftly investigate the attacks, but repeatedly denied them until recently,” they added.

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