Iran shutting down morality police after 2 months of protests, official says


Iran has scrapped its morality police after greater than two months of protests triggered by the dying of Mahsa Amini following her arrest for allegedly violating the nation’s strict feminine costume code, native media stated Sunday.

Women-led protests, labeled “riots” by the authorities, have swept Iran because the 22-year-old Iranian of Kurdish origin died on Sept. 16, three days after her arrest by the morality police in Tehran.

Demonstrators have burned their obligatory hijab head coverings and shouted anti-government slogans, and a rising variety of girls have refused to put on the hijab, notably in elements of Tehran.

“Morality police have nothing to do with the judiciary and have been abolished,” Attorney General Mohammad Jafar Montazeri was quoted as saying by the ISNA news company.

His remark got here at a non secular convention the place he responded to a query on “why the morality police were being shut down,” the report stated.

The transfer represents a uncommon concession to the protest motion, and authorities have additionally acknowledged the demoralizing impact of an financial disaster spurred by U.S. sanctions.

FILE PHOTO: Protest over the death of Mahsa Amini, in Tehran
A police motorbike burns throughout a protest in Tehran on Sept. 19, 2022. 


“The best way to confront the riots is to … pay attention to people’s real demands,” stated the parliament presidium council spokesman Seyyed Nezamoldin Mousavi, referencing “livelihoods and the economy” within the Islamic republic.

Since the 1979 Islamic Revolution that overthrew Iran’s U.S.-backed monarchy, authorities have monitored adherence to the strict costume code for ladies in addition to males.

But underneath hardline president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the morality police — recognized formally because the Gasht-e Ershad or “Guidance Patrol” — was established to “spread the culture of modesty and hijab.”  

The items had been arrange by Iran’s Supreme Council of the Cultural Revolution, which is right now headed by President Ebrahim Raisi.

They started their patrols in 2006 to implement the costume code which additionally requires girls to put on lengthy garments and forbids shorts, ripped denims and different garments deemed conceited.

The announcement of the items’ abolition got here a day after Montazeri stated “both parliament and the judiciary are working” on the problem of whether or not the legislation requiring girls to cowl their heads must be modified.

Raisi stated in televised feedback Saturday that Iran’s republican and Islamic foundations had been constitutionally entrenched “but there are methods of implementing the constitution that can be flexible.”

The hijab grew to become obligatory in 1983. Morality law enforcement officials initially issued warnings earlier than beginning to crack down and arrest girls 15 years in the past.

The squads had been normally made up of males in inexperienced uniforms and ladies clad in black chadors, clothes that cowl their heads and higher our bodies.

The function of the items developed, however has at all times been controversial.

Clothing norms progressively modified, particularly underneath former reasonable president Hassan Rouhani, when it grew to become widespread to see girls in tight denims and with unfastened, vibrant headscarves.

But in July this yr his successor, the ultra-conservative Raisi, referred to as for the mobilization of “all state institutions to enforce the headscarf law.”

Raisi on the time charged that “the enemies of Iran and Islam have targeted the cultural and religious values of society by spreading corruption.”

Iran’s regional rival Saudi Arabia additionally employed morality police to implement feminine costume codes and different guidelines of conduct. Since 2016 the drive there was sidelined in a push by the Sunni Muslim kingdom to shake off its austere picture.

In September, the Union of Islamic Iran People Party, the nation’s essential reformist celebration, referred to as for the hijab legislation to be rescinded.

The celebration, created by kin of former reformist president Mohammad Khatami, calls for authorities “prepare the legal elements paving the way for the cancelation of the mandatory hijab law.”

On Saturday it additionally referred to as for the Islamic republic to publicly shut down the morality police and “allow peaceful demonstrations.”

Iran accuses its enemy the U.S. and its allies, together with Britain and Israel, and Kurdish teams based mostly outdoors the nation, of fomenting the road protests.

More than 300 folks have been killed within the unrest, together with dozens of safety drive members, an Iranian common stated on Monday.

Oslo-based non-government group Iran Human Rights final week stated at the least 448 folks had been “killed by security forces in the ongoing nationwide protests.”

Thousands have been arrested, together with distinguished Iranian actors and footballers.

Among them was the actor Hengameh Ghaziani, detained final month. She had revealed on Instagram a video of herself eradicating her head masking. She was later freed on bail, Iranian news businesses reported.


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