Intoxicated schoolgirls in Iran: more than 100 arrests
More than 100 people have been arrested in Iran in connection with the mysterious case of poisoning in girls’ schoolswhich caused a strong emotion in the country, announced the authorities.
“More than 100 people suspected of being responsible for the incidents in schools have been identified, arrested and questioned,” the Interior Ministry said in a statement relayed by the official Irna news agency.
The ministry did not give details of these people, who were arrested in several provinces, including those of Tehran and Qom in the north, East and West Azerbaijan in the northwest, or those of Kurdistan and Hamadan in the west.
But he specifies that, “among those arrested”, some had “hostile motives” with the objective of “instilling a climate of fear among students and closing schools”. He mentions “possible links with terrorist organizations”, citing the People’s Mojahedin (MEK), an exile movement based in Albania.
“More than 5,000 students” affected
The press release welcomes that, “fortunately, since the middle of last week, the number of incidents has decreased significantly” and that there have not “been any new cases of sick students”.
Since the beginning of the case, at the end of November, many schools, most of them girls, have been affected by sudden poisoning by gases or toxic substances which have caused fainting and fainting sometimes leading to hospitalization of students .
In total, the authorities have listed “more than 5,000 students” affected in “some 230 schools” in 25 of the 31 provinces of the country.
Faced with the proliferation of cases, parents of students and residents had mobilized to express their concern and call on the authorities to act.
On March 6, the Iranian Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, took the floor to demand “severe sentences”, going as far as the death penalty, against those who would be found responsible for these poisonings, which he described as “unforgivable crimes”.
The case began two months after the beginning of the protest movement sparked in Iran by the death on September 16 of Mahsa Aminia young woman detained by the morality police who accused her of having broken the strict dress code imposing in particular on women the wearing of the veil.