Iran abolishes ‘morality police’ after months of protests – Flying Journals

After more than two months of protests, Iran has disbanded its morality police force


Iran has abolished its morality police after Mahsa Amini’s death sparked more than two months of protests following her arrest for allegedly violating the country’s strict laws. Dress Code for Womenlocal media said on Sunday.

protests led by womenWhat authorities have dubbed “riots” have gripped Iran since the death of a 22-year-old Iranian of Kurdish descent in Tehran on Sept. 16, three days after he was arrested by Tehran’s morality police.

Demonstrators burned the hijab, which was mandatory and chanted anti-government slogans, as women increasingly went veil-free, especially in parts of Tehran.

“The morality police has nothing to do with the judiciary and has been abolished,” Attorney General Mohammad Jafar Montazeri was quoted by the ISNA news agency as saying.

His comments were made at a religious meeting where he responded to a question about why the morality police should be shut down, the report said.

The move is a rare concession to the protest movement, which also acknowledges the demoralization of the economic crisis triggered by U.S. sanctions.

Seyyed Nezamoldin Mousavi, spokesman for the parliamentary bureau committee, said of the Islamic Republic’s “livelihood and economy”: “The best way to deal with unrest is … to focus on people’s real need.”

“Culture of Modesty”

Since the 1979 Islamic Revolution that overthrew Iran’s U.S.-backed monarchy, authorities have monitored men and women adhering to strict dress codes.

But under hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Morality Police — formally known as Gasht-e Ershad, or “Guidance Patrols” — was set up to “spread the message of modesty and the hood. culture”.

These units were established by the Supreme Council of the Cultural Revolution of Iran, which today is headed by the President Ibrahim Resi.

They began patrolling in 2006 to enforce the dress code, which also requires women to wear long dresses and bans shorts, ripped jeans and other clothing considered immodest.

The announcement of the abolition of the units came a day after Montazeri announced that “parliament and the judiciary are working hard” to discuss whether laws requiring women to cover their heads need to be changed.

Reisi said in televised comments on Saturday that Iran’s Republican and Islamic foundations are constitutionally entrenched “but have some flexible ways of implementing the constitution”.

The hijab became mandatory in 1983. The Morality Police initially sounded the alarm 15 years ago before starting to crack down and arrest women.

The squads usually consist of men in green uniforms and women in black burqas that cover their heads and upper bodies.

The role of units has evolved, but has always been debated.

Dress codes have gradually changed, especially under the moderate former president Hassan Rouhani, and it has become commonplace for women to wear skinny jeans and loose colored headscarves.

But in July, his successor, the ultra-conservative Laisi, called for the mobilization of “all state institutions to enforce the turban law”.

Reissy at the time accused “the enemies of Iran and Islam of attacking the cultural and religious values ​​of society by spreading corruption”.

thousands arrested

Iran’s regional rival, Saudi Arabia, also employs morality police to enforce dress codes and other rules of conduct for women. The force has been sidelined since 2016, pushed by the Sunni Muslim kingdom to shed its grim image.

In September, the Islamic Islamic People’s Party Alliance, the country’s main reformist party, called for the repeal of the hijab law.

The party, founded by relatives of former reformist President Mohammad Khatami, asked the authorities to “prepare legal elements to pave the way for the removal of the mandatory hijab law”.

On Saturday, it also called on the Islamic Republic to publicly shut down the morality police and “allow peaceful demonstrations”.

Iran has accused its foe the United States and its allies, including Britain and Israel, as well as Kurdish groups based abroad for inciting street protests.

An Iranian general said on Monday that more than 300 people had been killed in the unrest, including dozens of members of the security forces.

The Oslo-based NGO Iran Human Rights said last week that at least 448 people had been “killed by security forces during ongoing protests across the country”.

Thousands were arrested, including prominent Iranian actors and footballers.

Among them was actor Hegameh Ghaziani, who was detained last month. She posted a video of herself taking off her hijab on Instagram. She was later released on bail, Iranian news agencies reported.

(Aside from the title, this story is unedited by NDTV staff and published via a syndicated feed.)

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