Iran Scraps Police Unit Following Months of Protests

Iran Scraps Police Unit Following Months of Protests (News Central TV)

The Attorney General of Iran Mohammad Javad Montazeri has ordered the abolishment of the country’s morality police, following months of protests set off by the arrest, imprisonment and death of Mahsa Amini, a young woman held forcefully for allegedly violating the country’s strict Islamic dress laws.

The decision appears to be a major triumph for civil liberties, and women-rights campaigners who raised protest movements, sparked by the death of the 22-year-old Amini in September.

In a statement following her death, Iranian security forces claimed that Amini died of a heart attack at the detention centre, although her family has disputed this claim, maintaining that their daughter was in perfect health when she was detained.

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An October 7 coroner’s report stated that Amini’s death was “not caused by blows to the head and limbs” and instead linked her death to pre-existing medical conditions, ruling that she had died from multiple organ failure caused by cerebral hypoxia.

Iran Scraps Police Unit Following Months of Protests (News Central TV)

The discontent that followed is one of the biggest challenges in decades to Iran’s clerical system of governance and the decision to jettison the morality police was the government’s first major concession to the demonstrators.

Known formally as the Gasht-e Ershad or “Guidance Patrol”, it was set up to “spread the culture of modesty and hijab”.

Montazeri in a statement said the morality police “was abolished by the same authorities who installed it.”  He however added that the judiciary would still enforce restrictions on “social behaviour.” He further disclosed that the authorities were reviewing the hijab regulations.

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The police unit was primarily established to enforce the laws related to Iran’s conservative Islamic dress code, imposed after the 1979 Islamic Revolution and recently resuscitated by the country’s new conservative president.

The dress code which requires women to cover their bodies in long, loose clothing and their hair with a head scarf or hijab became an ideological pillar of the ruling establishment, central to its identity.


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