Hundreds of cases involving schoolgirls have been reported in Qom, south of Tehran, with some requiring hospital treatment. On Sunday, Deputy Health Minister Yunus Panahi apparently confirmed that the poisoning was deliberate.
Tehran: Iran’s deputy health minister said on Sunday that some people were poisoning schoolgirls in the holy city of Qom with the aim of shutting down girls’ education. Hundreds of cases have been reported since late November, mainly in Qom, south of Tehran involving schoolgirls, some of whom have required hospital treatment. On Sunday, Deputy Health Minister Yunus Panahi apparently confirmed that the poisoning was deliberate.
IRNA state news agency quoted Panahi as saying that after it was found that several students in Qom schools were poisoned, some people wanted all schools, especially girls’ schools, to be closed. He said that so far no one has been arrested in connection with the poisoning. IRNA reported that on 14 February, parents of the ill students gathered outside the city to demand an explanation from the authorities.
Government spokesman Ali Bahadori Jahromi said the intelligence and education ministries were trying to determine the cause of the poisoning. Last week, Prosecutor General Mohamed Jaafar Montajeri ordered a judicial inquiry into the incidents. Such incidents have increased in Iran since the 16 December death in custody of 22-year-old Iranian Kurd Mahsa Amini for allegedly violating the country’s strict dress code for women.