A group of schoolgirls in Iran have been flogged because their parents owed less than eight pounds in school fees, according to an opposition group in the country.
Ten girls from the Mokhtarabad village in the country’s southern province of Kerman reportedly endured eight lashings each from their school principal after they failed to pay 300,000 riyals in fees.
There has been widespread condemnation of the authorities after a video of the schoolgirls talking about their flogging was shared on social media.
The National Council of Resistance in Iran (NCRI), an opposition group to President Hassan Rouhani’s regime, claimed that the girls now faced expulsion from school if the families did not deny they were flogged.
National news agency Farda has also published a letter written by one student which described how students had been flogged.
The school has denied the students’ allegations in a statement issued to the Tabnak news agency.
Although Iran has relatively high literacy rates among women, girls “face significant discrimination in law and in practice,” according to Human Rights Watch.
Women in the country have come under increasing restrictions and a ban on women cycling has recently come into force.
It is illegal for women to go out in public in Iran without wearing a headscarfs. Thousands of morality police patrol the streets searching for women not deemed to be dressed modestly enough.
In 2014, international attention was drawn to the difficulties faced by women in Iran after a British-Iranian woman was jailed for trying to attend a men’s volleyball match.
Following global condemnation of the incident, the government partially repealed a ban on female spectators in stadiums – but only for events not considered too “masculine”.
Source: / independent /