Statistical Report on Recent Poison Attacks on Schools

Statistical Report on Recent Poison Attacks on Schools

Over the past few months, there have been disturbing reports of serial poison attacks on schools with toxic gas across Iran, mainly targeting girls’ schools. Recent statistics reveal that between November 22, 2022, and March 8, 2023, at least 297 schools and educational institutions reported incidents of poisoning involving their students. These included 113 high schools, 38 elementary schools, 23 middle schools, and 2 student dormitories, with the level of education unspecified in 121 cases.

Targets of Poison Attacks

The gender composition of affected educational institutions is also alarming. There were 224 girls’ schools, 18 boys’ schools, and 4 mixed schools out of the 246 cases in which the gender of the students was determined. These numbers indicate that female students are targeted at a significantly higher rate than male students.
For only 103 incidents, schools or officials specified the number of affected students, which amounts to 7168.

Poisoned Students’ Gender

The attacks have been reported in at least 103 cities across 29 provinces, with Tehran province recording the highest number of incidents with 33, followed by Qom province with 28 and Ardabil province with 26. Families and human rights activists are concerned about the safety of students and the possibility of additional attacks in light of these incidents.

In response to these incidents, there have been forty-five protests in thirty-two cities. Unfortunately, security forces cracked down on these demonstrations and arrested at least eleven protesters. Yesterday, 27 protest gatherings were held nationwide, and 9 people were arrested. Two individuals were released a few hours after their arrests.

As of the time this report was compiled, below is a map depicting the distribution of these attacks.

The serial poisoning of predominantly schoolgirls has prompted inquiries into the motivations behind these attacks. There is speculation that the attacks are the result of discrimination based on gender, but no one has claimed responsibility for the incidents. The Iranian government has pledged to prevent future attacks and bring those responsible to justice.

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