Wed. Jun 7th, 2023

Authorities have announced a number of arrests amid a recent spate of poisonings of schoolgirls in Iranian schools. Some of those arrested have links with ‘anti-foreign media’.

Arrests for poisoning female students in Iranian schools
Arrests for poisoning female students in Iranian schools


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Iran announced on Tuesday, March 7, that several people have been arrested in connection with the poisoning of schoolgirls in six different provinces of the country. Interior Minister Majid Mir Ahmadi told state media that Iranian intelligence agencies had made the arrests and would “thoroughly investigate.”

The poisoning of schoolgirls started in late last November, which has so far affected more than 5,000 schoolgirls in about 230 schools in 25 of the country’s 31 provinces.

The Interior Ministry has alleged that some of those arrested are linked to “hostile foreign media”, while some have also been taking part in ongoing nationwide protests against the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini. The government describes these protests as riots.

“Out of the four arrested, three members were part of the team, who have a record of involvement in recent riots and their ties to foreign media,” the Home Ministry statement said. It has been found out.

The interior ministry also claimed that one of the arrested people used his own child to deliver the poison to the school and then shared the footage with “enemy media”. However, some politicians of the country also say that religious groups opposed to educating girls may have started the process of poisoning.

What do we know about toxins?

Speaking to the Iranian news agency ISNA on Monday, Mohammad Hassan Asfari, a member of the parliamentary fact-finding committee, said that “various tests are being conducted to find out the type of toxic substance and its cause.” However, no specific information about its type has been found yet.

The affected students face problems like dizziness along with breathing problem and nausea. Due to this, several students had to be admitted to the hospital. Deputy Health Minister Saeed Karimi says that it cannot be caused by poisonous gas, but by “a powder, paste or a liquid substance, which is placed on a heater or evaporates due to heat, causing such complications.” May be.”

The latest such case was reported on Tuesday, affecting 40 schoolgirls in the southeastern city of Zahedan. The city has been the epicenter of the harshest crackdown on anti-government protesters.

Increased anti-government sentiment due to poisoning

The school poisoning has further fueled anti-government sentiment in Iran, with the general public demanding action against it. Last week, President Ebrahim Raisi called the poisoning incidents a plot by the enemy to create fear and despair among Iranians and ordered the Ministry of Interior and Intelligence to provide continuous updates.

Tehran’s Chief Prosecutor Ali Salehi said on Tuesday that “those who spread lies and rumors will be dealt with legally in a decisive manner.” Cases have been filed against the group’s managers as well as several individuals.

On Monday, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said that the perpetrators of this “unforgivable crime” should be hunted “without mercy” and if they are found guilty of knowingly committing it, They should be given death penalty.

About 20,000 people have been arrested since the protests began last September, according to the NGO Human Rights Watch in Iran, while authorities have killed at least 527 people in an effort to quell the protests. has been sentenced to death. Iran Human Rights, an Oslo-based non-governmental organization, says 109 people face execution for joining the protests and four have already been hanged.

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