Home / News / India /  Iran schoolgirl poisoning attacks- Revenge or bid to close educational institutions for women?

Iran Hijab protests: The country of Iran has been shaken up owing to the anti-government protests after the passing away of 22 year-old Mahsa Amini. Several protesters- women and men have taken part in the violent demonstration that rocked the country. 

A some protesters have been arrested and sentenced to death for protesting against the Government. 

Amid such ruckus reports emerged that for the past three months hundreds of young girls attending different schools in Iran have become overpowered by what are believed to be noxious fumes wafting into their classrooms, with some ending up weakened on hospital beds.

Officials in Iran's theocracy initially dismissed these incidents, but now describe them as intentional attacks involving some 30 schools identified in local media reports, with some speculating they could be aimed at trying to close schools for girls in this country of over 80 million people.

Accusation have been made that several schoolgirls have been poisoned as “revenge" for the role young women played in recent protests against the mandatory hijab, according to Guardian

Iranian authorities are now probing the claim. Iran’s deputy education minister, Younes Panahi, told reporters, “After the poisoning of several students in [the city of] Qom … it was found that some people wanted all schools, especially girls’ schools, to be closed."

The Guardian report states that the attacks have led to girls staying away from school. A teacher from Qom – which is about 85 miles south of the capital Tehran – told Radio Farda that out of 250 students, only 50 attended classes. Last week angry parents protested outside the governor’s office in Qom and several schools have been closed due to the pending investigation.

Masih Alinejad, an Iranian human rights activist based in New York, told the Guardian, “In my opinion, this chemical attack is revenge by the Islamic Republic against the brave women who [rejected] the mandatory hijab and shook the ‘Berlin Wall’ of [Ayatollah Ali] Khamenei.

“As the Islamic State Iranian regime hates girls and women, I call on women across the globe – especially schoolgirls – to be the voice of Iranian students and call on the leaders of democratic countries to condemn this series of poisonings and isolate Khamenei’s regime," she said.

The authorities have not named suspects, but the attacks have raised fears that other girls could be poisoned apparently just for seeking an education — something that's never been challenged before in the over 40 years since the 1979 Islamic Revolution. 

(With inputs from agencies)

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