Since the death of Kurdish Iranian woman Amini, there have been widespread protests against the morality police and codes of conduct for females. On Sunday, Iranian morality police unit was scrapped.
Iranian morality police vehicles (Image: AFP/File photo)
By Srishti Jha: In a significant win for protestors, Iran’s prosecutor general Mohammad Jafar Montazeri said that the morality police unit has been abolished. The worldwide public outcry pertains to the custodial death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who was picked up by the vice squads in Tehran on September 16 and declared dead three days later.
Iranian morality police, formally known as the Gasht-e-Ershad or ‘Guidance Patrol’, arrested the young woman over breach of the Islamic republic’s strict dress code and for wearing her hijab improperly. The unit was established in 2006 and their patrols were feared among women.
“They (morality police) oppress so much,” news agency AFP had quoted an Iranian woman as saying.
Since the death of Kurdish Iranian woman Amini, there have been widespread protests against the morality police and codes of conduct for females.
Here are the top developments in Iran:
On Sunday, Montazeri said, “Morality police has no connection with the judiciary and have been abolished by the same place that it was launched from in the past.” His reply came to the question about why the Iranian administration was considering terminating the vice squad.
The development came a day after the Attorney General had said that both ‘the parliament and the judiciary are working’ to conclude whether the statute governing an appropriate dress code for women was required. Also, there was no official confirmation that the patrolling units had been terminated.
Three-month-long protests rocked Iran that were mainly led by women who defiantly threw their headscarves and veils on the streets. They chanted slogans such as ‘Women, life, freedom’. The demonstrations and intent were such that Amini’s death was widely denounced in European countries and the US too. Berlin marked one of the biggest protests against morality police norms.
Montazeri also said that the judiciary would continue to “monitor behavioural actions at community level”. Iranian authorities issued no indication to imply that law on imposing mandatory dress code will be abolished. The hijab was made compulsory four years after the 1979 revolution, overthrowing the US-backed monarchy and establishing the Islamic Republic of Iran. The laws pertaining to veils have been amended over the years. However, perceived a conservative leader, President Raisi had called for the mobilisation of ‘all state institutions to enforce the headscarf law’.
Iranian authorities did not comment on whether the scrap on the vice squad was indefinite or temporary. The development also came after Iran rejected the United Nations’ intervention in widespread anti-hijab protests. Local Iranian media quoted Iranian officials as referring to foreign influence as a ‘hybrid war amid recent protests’.