On Tuesday, February 14, 2023, around 30 female students from a school in Tehran’s Monirieh District were hospitalized due to respiratory poisoning caused by an unknown gas. The students reported a strong smell of pepper spray or tear gas in their classrooms, causing them to feel suffocated and have burning eyes.
This latest incident has increased fears among parents and the public, as it follows the serial poisoning of students in high schools in Qom, which started in December 2022. So far, at least 140 female students have gone to medical centers for 15 cases of serial poisoning.
Majid Mohebbi, Vice President of Medicine of Qom University of Medical Sciences stated that they cannot definitively comment on the cause of the poisoning and claimed: “Signs of the presence of carbon monoxide gas have been observed in girls’ high schools, but we cannot definitively say that all poisonings are caused by carbon monoxide gas.”
The families of the poisoned students in Qom have protested in front of the Qom governorate, demanding safer schools and better protection for their children. They have criticized the governorate for being incompetent and demanded the governor’s resignation. The protesters believe that the serial poisonings are aimed at terrorizing female students and their families and that they are being carried out to prevent girls from obtaining an education.
The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) has also expressed concerns about the situation and called for an international investigation. In a tweet, the NCRI President-elect Maryam Rajavi stated that the serial poisoning of female students in Qom and now Tehran is a systematic crime:
Despite the severity of the situation, the authorities have been unable to provide any answers, and the situation is worsening with each passing day. The student’s families and the public are calling for urgent action to be taken to prevent further incidents and ensure the safety of students.
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