1,200 Iranian students ‘poisoned’ ahead of mass protests

A group of 1,200 university students in Iran were struck down with food poisoning the night before a wave of anti-regime protests unfolded across the country.

Students at Kharazmi and Ark universities suffered from vomiting, severe body pain and hallucinations, the National Union of Students said on Thursday.

At least four other universities have reported similar outbreaks. Uninfected students would boycott cafeterias in response.

While officials cite waterborne bacteria as the cause of the troubling symptoms, the student union has argued that the population was intentionally poisoned.

“Our past experiences of similar incidents at Isfahan University contradict the authorities’ rationale for this mass food poisoning,” the group wrote on Telegram.

Iranians in Toulouse, France staged a protest in solidarity with women and protesters in Iran.
Iranians in Toulouse, France staged a protest in solidarity with women and protesters in Iran.
NurPhoto via Getty Images

Some university clinics closed or ran out of supplies to treat dehydration, fueling speculation that the outbreak was planned to stifle the three-day strike in response to the Iranian regime’s claims of shutting down the controversial morality police, it said. reported Arab News.

Formally known as the Gasht-e Ershad, or “Guidance Patrol”, the Morality Police was established in 2006 to enforce the county’s strict dress code for women. Dating back to the aftermath of the 1979 revolution, the dress code requires all women to wear the hijab in public.

The group came under fire after 22-year-old student Mahsa Amini died in police custody in September. An aspiring lawyer, Amini was reportedly arrested because her hijab revealed part of her hair.

The movement adopted the slogan
The movement adopted the slogan “Woman. Life. Freedom.”
NurPhoto via Getty Images

Amini’s unexplained death has sparked mass protests led by women across the country. In addition to large street protests, well-known figures like actresses Hengameh Ghaziani and Katayoun Riahi are sharing images of themselves in public without headscarves.

During the brief screening of the World Cup in Iran last month, players and fans even refused to sing the country’s national anthem.

But despite the widespread movement, the Iranian regime has shown few signs of resisting public pressure. Initial reports that the morality police had been abolished were quickly followed by clarifications that the decision could not be officially confirmed.

Amid reports of food poisoning, Iranian journalist Masih Alinejad shared a picture on Twitter from an employee of a leisure center working without a hijab.

“The Tehnran prosecution opened a case against her,” Alinejad wrote.

“[The] the morality police have not been abolished. It was an absolute lie.”

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