Mar 7, 2023
Poisoning of Schoolgirls in Iran Seems to be an ‘Act of Revenge’ for Protesting Transcript
Iran authorities are investigating what the Iranian government is calling potentially deliberate poisoning of hundreds of schoolgirls. Read the transcript here.
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We have a concerning story this morning out of Iran, increasing reports of young girls being poisoned by toxic fumes. For months, Iranian leadership has dismissed these reports, but now, describe them as intentional. Alex Hogan joins us from London. Alex, what can you tell us about these reported attacks? This is so disturbing.
Alex Hogan (00:19):
It really is. Hi, Anita. So what we know at this point, these are chemical attacks in nature, and it’s being described as serial poisoning. So if you think about one child being poisoned at school, just how serious of an issue that would be, well, we’re looking at about 900 school children. And this isn’t taking place just in one town or one school district alone. It’s taking place across 30 schools, at least at this point. The largest group so far that has been attacked at one time was 26 girls. And some of the symptoms that they feel after this, they’re suffering from nausea, from achy muscles. They’re even losing the ability to move temporarily. So some very serious numbers that we’re looking at.
And of course, just the traumatic effect that this would have on children, who simply are trying to go to school to learn. There’s only been one such incident that has taken place on a boy child who is at school. So really, all of this is focusing on these school children, these little girls, who are trying to go to school. And what we know at this point is that Irani officials are claiming that it potentially could be an attack taking place from religious groups that morally oppose these children, these little girls, going to school and learning.
And when we talk about young girls in Iran, I think that conversation has really risen to the forefront since the death of Mahsa Amini. What are we thinking or what are we hearing about a possible link between what’s happening now with these young girls there?
Alex Hogan (01:55):
Yeah. Well, all of this started around November. And just to remind our viewers, so 22 year old Mahsa Amini was killed. She died last fall. She was in custody of the country’s morality police. And since then, protests have taken off across the country, with women joining marches, taking off their hijabs, showing their hair out of protest, men joining in as well. And since then, there have been about 20,000 people who have been arrested as part of these protests, that really have been a challenge to the government, saying that they no longer want to stand for these strict rules, especially when we’re talking about something like the morality police and someone potentially dying for reportedly having not all of their hair being covered. So this is directly linked, according to a lot of officials and their concerns of, now that there could be these very, very serious issues with children being poisoned at schools, as one step further in infringing potentially on women’s rights in this country.
It’s hard to watch it all. Thank you, Alex, though, reporting there in London. We appreciate it.
Alex Hogan (03:03):