The alleged poisoning of female students in Sar-e-Pul province has faced reactions by the UN, civil rights activists and political leaders.
The United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund said that it is concerned to “hear of an alleged incident…in which around 80 girls and women fell ill in two schools in Sanchark District, in the north of Afghanistan.”
UNICEF said it is counting on the “de facto authorities to investigate this incident thoroughly, to do everything possible to keep girls and women safe and, if there is foul play, to hold the perpetrators accountable.”
The European Union’s Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Nabila Massrali, said in a statement that the EU regrets the “horrible news of poisonings” of more than 60 girls at their school in northern Afghanistan.
“This is a heinous crime that needs to be followed up by the de facto authorities, as per their obligations under international law to protect the population,” the statement said.
“Right to education is the human right of all children, everywhere. Schools need to be safe places for all children,” the statement reads.
Meanwhile, former president Hamid Karzai on Twitter condemned the incident and called for increased security.
“I hope the interim government pays particular attention to the security of educational centers and schools because the prosperity of a society is dependent on the arms of the educated youth,” he said.
“Nearly 80 female students have been poisoned in two schools in Sangcharak district of Sar-e-Pul province,” Mohammad Rahmani, head of the provincial education department told TOLOnews on Sunday, saying that “60 students were poisoned in Naswan-e-Kabod Aab school, and 17 others were poisoned in Naswan Faizabad school.”.
“In the first class hour, when the students arrived at the school, they were poisoned. They face dizziness and throwing up,” he said.
“The Islamic Emirate is responsible to create security for the education of girls and allow the schools and the education to be safe across Afghanistan,” said Suraya Paikan, a human rights activist.
Details have yet to be provided both about the incident.