Twenty Iranian schoolgirls were transferred to hospital in the north-western city of Tabriz, an official said, after the latest in a wave of poisoning attacks that have sickened thousands of pupils across the country over more than four months.
The head of the emergency service in West Azerbaijan province said the girls were treated after suffering shortness of breath, the news agency ISNA reported on April 4.
The official said the general condition of the students was good.
The school poisoning occurred in Tabriz’s Baghmisheh Town a day after Iranian schools had resumed classes following the Persian New Year break.
Since November 2022, more than 5,000 students have suffered symptoms including nausea, fainting, headaches, coughing, breathing difficulties and heart palpitations, with many requiring treatments in hospital.
The attacks in more than 200 schools across the country have sparked fear and anger among schoolgirls, their parents and Iranian society at large.
After Iranian authorities announced arrests over the poisonings last month, UN experts criticized the Islamic Republic for failing to protect the schoolgirls, prevent further attacks and conduct swift investigations.
The experts also expressed concern about the sequencing of the attacks, which began a few weeks after the September 2022 death of a young woman in police custody sparked nationwide protests.
“We fear that they are orchestrated to punish girls for their involvement in the movement – Women, Life, Freedom, and for expressing their opposition to mandatory hijab and voicing their demands for equality.”