The regime of Iran repressed with gas the teachers who protested after the poisoning of thousands of students

iranian teachers performed protests on Tuesday before the suspects poisonings suffered by hundreds of girls. Security forces dispersed several demonstrations using fire cannons and tear gas, activists said.

Videos and photos posted on social networks show the teachers demonstrating in Ahvaz, Isfahan, Karaj, Mashhad, Rasht, Sanandaj, Saqqez, Shiraz and other cities.

Others showed the riot police on the streets. Activists who identified themselves as members of the Coordinating Council of Teachers Unions said that the police used pepper spray, fire hydrants and force to disperse protesters in Mashhad, Rasht and Saqqez.

“Today teachers have taken to the streets across Iran, in front of the Department of Education, to protest the chemical attacks on schoolgirls. Many Iranians believe that these attacks are deliberate. ‘Safe schools is our right!’ was heard as a slogan”, detailed the activist Masih Alinejad, based in the US.

Protest outside a Ministry of Education building in Tehran (ESN/AFP/file) (-/)

Meanwhile, prosecutors began filing criminal charges against journalists, activists and others due to his statements about the unresolved incidents, which began in November and escalated in recent days in which dozens of schools filed complaints.

These are the first arrests linked to the poisonings of around 5,000 female students from 230 educational centers in 25 of the Iranian provincesaccording to data provided today by parliamentarian Mohammad-Hassan Asafari, a member of a commission investigating poisonings.

The wave of poisonings began three months ago, has multiplied in recent days and has forced hospitalize thousands of studentswithout the death of students having been disclosed.

The students have suffered symptoms such as throat irritation, headaches, breathing difficulties, weakness, arrhythmias or the inability to move the extremities after inhaling a suspected gas.

The wave of poisonings is fueling popular discontent, especially among parents, given the inefficiency of the authorities when it comes to stopping attacks that seem destined to paralyze the education of the students.


In addition, the judicial authorities have presented charges against various media outlets of the country as the newspapers shargh either Hammihan for “spreading rumours” about the poisonings.

“Those who spread rumors will face legal consequences,” Tehran prosecutor Ali Salehi warned, according to the agency. ISNA.

The announcement of the arrests comes a day after the Ministry of Health released a report that attributed the vast majority of alleged cases of gas poisoning to “anxiety.”

A young woman lies in hospital after reports of poisoning at an unspecified location in Iran.  WANA/Reuters TV via REUTERS
A young woman lies in hospital after reports of poisoning at an unspecified location in Iran. WANA/Reuters TV via REUTERS (REUTERS TV/)

“Less than 10% of the cases had real symptoms and most are related to anxiety,” argued Iranian Deputy Health Minister Saeed Karimi, who is part of a team investigating poisonings. “Some of the students were exposed to an irritant substance that is primarily inhaled”, said the deputy minister, who did not explain what product it is.

The Supreme Leader of Iran, Ali Khamenei, described yesterday as “unforgivable crime” these attacks and affirmed that if it is proven that they are deliberate, the culprits must “receive the maximum punishment”, which in Iran is the death penalty.

In Iran, female education has not been questioned in the 43 years of existence of the Islamic Republic and some parents link the poisonings with the protests with a marked feminist tone in recent months, which had calmed down after strong state repression.

The students of schools and institutes participated in these protests, took off their veils, shouted “woman, life, freedom” and made contemptuous gestures at portraits of Khamenei and the founder of the Islamic Republic, Ayatollah Ruholá Khomeini.

(With information from AP and EFE)

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