European lawmakers have called on the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) to carry out an investigation into the poisoning of tens of thousands of schoolgirls in Iran, as accusations grow of the Iranian government's potential involvement in the cases.
At the beginning of this month, Iranian state media and officials revealed and announced the country's investigation into the "suspected poisonings" of at least hundreds of students – mostly girls – who had fallen ill and been hospitalised after apparent exposure to toxic gas in dozens of schools over a period of around three months.
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The supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamanei then called the poisonings an "unforgivable" crime that must be punished by death if deliberate, with authorities arresting several people it said were linked to the incident. The government also accused some of them of being connected to "foreign-based dissident media".
While some politicians have reportedly put the blame on religious groups which are opposed to girls' education, many activists have directly accused the Iranian government and the religious establishment of causing the poisonings in revenge for many schoolgirls' attendance of protests against the government and its hijab laws since September, when the 22-year-old woman Mahsa Amini died in the custody of Iranian authorities.
The European Parliament's resolution on Thursday condemned "in the strongest terms, this atrocious attempt to silence women and girls in Iran," urging EU member states to begin issuing visas, asylum, and emergency grants to those who need to leave Iran, "particularly women and girls."
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