Iranian protests: Students are taken to psychiatric institutions

Iranian protests: Students are taken to psychiatric institutions
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women burn head covering and they cut their hair in nationwide protestsAn Iranian official said that schoolchildren who participated in street protests on Tuesday were detained and taken to mental health institutions.

In an interview with the independent reformist Iran newspaper, Iran’s Education Minister Youssef Nouri confirmed that some schoolchildren were indeed detained and referred to what he called “psychological institutions”.

Detention facilities, he said, aim to re-educate students to reform and prevent “anti-social” behaviour.

“Perhaps these students have become ‘anti-social characters’ and we want to reform them.” He told “Sharq” newspaperadded that students “may return to class after correction.”

About a month ago, at the age of 22 Mahsa Amini passed away after being hauled off to a “rehab center” by the state “morality police” for not complying with the state’s demands conservative dress code. Amin’s death has sparked weeks of anti-government protests across the country.

The Minister of Education could not give an exact figure on the number of detained students and said “the number is not many, not many”.

Girls and women throughout Iran have played a prominent role in the demonstrations and have held protests in schools, university campuses and on the streets in recent weeks.

In the images spread on social media, Iranian women and girls are shown chanting “death to the dictator” while removing their hijabs; once CNN life, girls studying in Tehran’s vocational high school held a protest in the street near their school and chanted slogans of “woman, freedom”.

Demonstrations were sometimes dangerous. Police used tear gas against demonstrators in Tehran on Wednesday, and bookstores and offices near Tehran University closed their doors, a witness said. According to witnesses, members of Iran’s Basij paramilitary organization ordered people to move and prevented others from standing on the streets in Kaj Square.

Videos obtained by pro-reform IranWire posted on social media on Wednesday showed demonstrations in Tehran and other Iranian cities.

Police and Basij members fired tear gas at a gathering of Iranian lawyers in Tehran, while in western Tehran, uniformed and plainclothes police were seen firing guns into the air and chasing people away from the scene. Riot forces were seen gathering in one of the city’s busiest shopping streets. In the other, the protesters chanted “Mullahs, less”.

Footage from Rasht, northwest of Tehran, showed police beating people wearing riot gear with lipstick and dragging them off the sidewalk.

On Tuesday, the United Nations children’s agency UNICEF called for the protection of children and adolescents amid the third week of civil unrest in Iran.

“We are extremely concerned about the continuing reports of the killing, injury and detention of children and adolescents during the ongoing civil unrest in Iran.” Read UNICEF’s statement.

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