Tehran [Iran], May 2: New cases of poisoning at girls' schools were reported in Iran, according to activists of the Norwegian-based human rights organization Hengaw on Monday.
Cases were reported in the capital Tehran and the Kurdistan region, which protests have rocked in recent months. In the hometown of protest icon JinaMahsaAmini, security forces also reportedly used violence against schoolgirls. There was initially no official information on the cases. The incidents have been causing unrest in the country for around five months. Throughout the country, schoolgirls have been treated in hospitals, with doctors speaking of gas poisoning.
The authorities have officially registered thousands of suspected cases. Some parents have stopped letting their children go to school out of concern for their safety. The human rights organization Amnesty International called it a "coordinated campaign." On Friday, Iran's intelligence service published a final report on the poisonings, concluding that no organized network of perpetrators exists. The secret service argues that the cases are a matter of nationwide mass hysteria. Its report states that analyses of samples mainly found traces of pepper spray or stink bombs, as opposed to more serious toxic substances.
Parents and other relatives accused the authorities of failing their children. Protests following the death of Iranian Kurdish woman MahsaAmini in police custody triggered the worst political crisis in decades in Tehran last autumn. Critics say the poisonings are revenge for the demonstrations.
Source: Qatar Tribune