The school in Ardabil in northwestern Iran where security forces have beaten a schoolgirl to death
An Iranian teachers union has called for the resignation of the Islamic Republic’s Education Minister Yousef Nouri amid arrests and killings of many students across the country.
Condemning the violence in a statement on Sunday, the Coordination Council of Iranian Teachers’ Trade Associations, the body that has organized numerous nationwide protest rallies and strikes in the past few years, described the minister as an “incompetent and good-for-nothing element.”
"Unfortunately, in the last week, we witnessed the brutal attack of security forces and plainclothes on educational centers in various cities of the country, including schools in Kordestan province, Gohardasht and Mehrshahr near the capital Tehran, Orumiyeh (Urmia) and Ardabil in northwestern Iran and the northern city of Rasht,” the statement read. “Creating terror, the security forces arrested several students and transferred them to unknown places," it added.
The latest case was the attack on a school in Ardabil, where school officials tried to force the students to sing the propaganda song “Hello Commander” in praise of Iran’s ruler Ali Khamenei, but when some students refused, government agents showed up, beating and assaulting the girls. One student, identified as Asra Panahi, reportedly died of her injuries at the hospital while another one is in critical condition.
On Saturday, hardliner news agencies published a video of an interview with Asra Panahi’s uncle in which he said she has died of a congenital heart condition.
Amid nationwide protests that have even mobilized Iranian high school students, the Islamic Republic authorities are removing photos of the Supreme Leader from classrooms in fear of students damaging the portraits.
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