In the latest example of the impact of the Taliban’s campaign against women’s rights in Afghanistan, nearly 80 primary school girls were poisoned and hospitalised in attacks last weekend. Girls are currently banned from education from age 12. An education official said the person who orchestrated the two separate attacks in the Sar-e-Pul province had a “personal grudge” but gave little information beyond that. In neighbouring Iran, thousands of girls have also been poisoned in their classrooms and hospitalised since November. Again, information on these attacks is scarce despite purported investigations by the Iranian regime. In the early 2010s, there were similar reports of poisonings in Afghanistan but UN experts at the time found no chemical agents and suggested they were psychogenic because of Taliban threats about attending school. Girls under 12 can still technically go to school. Is it any wonder if they don’t, out of fear for their lives?
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