Iran to disband ‘morality police’, prosecutor general says – DW – 04/12/2022
Iran’s attorney general said the country “moral police” will be disbanded, according to media reports on Sunday.
“The moral police has nothing to do with the judicial system and it has been abolished,” prosecutor general Mohammad Jaafar Montazeri was quoted as saying late Saturday by the ISNA news agency.
However, it is not clear whether the force will be re-created in a different context or under a different name. This was reported by the state news agencies death sentences and legal proceedings for violations of “morality” will continue.
“Of course, the judicial system continues to monitor behavioral actions,” Montazeri said at a conference Saturday, outlining the religion-based policy.
Camran Mateen, a senior lecturer in international relations at the University of Sussex, told DW that the attorney general’s announcement should be taken with some caution.
Mateen clarified that Iran’s death police is not part of the judicial system, but is run by the so-called law enforcement or police force.
“An announcement like this really needs to be made by this institution, and it hasn’t happened yet,” Mateen said.
Tehran under pressure
In September, 22-year-old Mahsa Amini died in moral police custody after being arrested for improperly wearing a hijab, leading to months of anti-government protests.
The regime in Tehran has come under considerable pressure since Amini’s death.
On Saturday, Montazeri also said authorities were reviewing the decades-old law requiring women to wear headscarves to see if any “changes” were needed.
Who are the “morality police”
The so-called Moral Police is a unit of Iran’s police force tasked with enforcing laws on Islamic dress code and other behavior in public places.
They began patrolling the streets in 2006 after being created by hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
According to Iranian law, women and girls after puberty must wear head coverings and loose clothing in public.
The morality police have been accused of arbitrarily detaining women for crimes.
kb/wmr (AFP, dpa)
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