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Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Iran to disband morality police

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Tehran: Iran’s morality police, which is tasked with enforcing the country’s Islamic dress code, is being disbanded, the country’s attorney general says.

Mohammad Jafar Montazeri’s comments, yet to be confirmed by other agencies, were made at an event on Sunday, BBC reported.

Iran has seen months of protests over the death of a young woman in custody.

Mahsa Amini had been detained by the morality police for allegedly breaking strict rules on head coverings, the BBC reported.

Montazeri was at a religious conference when he was asked if the morality police was being disbanded.

“The morality police had nothing to do with the judiciary and have been shut down from where they were set up,” he said.

Control of the force lies with the interior ministry and not with the judiciary.

On Saturday, Montazeri also told the Iranian parliament the law that requires women to wear hijabs would be looked at.

Even if the morality police is shut down, this does not mean the decades-old law will be changed, the report said.

Women-led protests, labelled “riots” by the authorities, have swept Iran since 22-year-old Amini died in custody on September 16, three days after her arrest by the morality police in Tehran.

Her death was the catalyst for the unrest but it also follows discontent over poverty, unemployment, inequality, injustice and corruption.

Iran has had various forms of “morality police” since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, but the latest version – known formally as the Gasht-e Ershad – is currently the main agency tasked enforcing Iran’s Islamic code of conduct.

They began their patrols in 2006 to enforce the dress code which also requires women to wear long clothes and forbids shorts, ripped jeans and other clothes deemed immodest.

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