Families demand justice for poisoned students.
On Saturday, April 15, 2023, families of poisoned students in Shahin-Shahr took to the streets to protest the poisoning of their children. The protest, held in front of the city’s Education Department, was met with repression, as security forces attacked the demonstrators and fired tear gas.
The families chanted slogans such as “Death to the child-killing regime,” “Death to the dictator,” and “Death to the perpetrators of poisoning,” while also declaring that they would not accept humiliation.
Sadly, the situation is not isolated to Shahin-Shahr. At least eight regional schools and conservatories have been attacked by chemical agents and toxic gas, including Manouchehr Ansari Girls’ School, Al-e Yassin Girls’ Conservatory, and Fahmideh Elementary School. Moreover, students from several schools in Izeh, Sanandaj, Urmia, and Mahabad were poisoned, with dozens taken to medical centers on April 15.
Health Minister denies student poisoning
Despite the clear evidence of poisoning, the regime’s Health Minister, Bahram Ainullahi, has refused to acknowledge the problem. He claimed that “We decided to call it ‘ill health’ of the students because there was no solid evidence for the students’ poisoning.”
False confessions and torture
Additionally, security services have been pressuring students to falsely confess to poisoning their classmates.
Three young women, Setayesh Darugheh, 16, Erfaneh Honar, 19, and Setayesh Amiri, 17, have been arrested and pressured to confess that they were involved in the poisoning of schools in Larestan, Fars Province.
Another young man, Alireza Bagheri, has also been arrested on the same charge. In another case, Milad Manzarian, an athlete and construction engineer, was arrested and brutally tortured to make false confessions.
It is essential that the international community takes notice and acts to protect the rights and safety of Iranian students.