Iran finally suspended its “morality police,” which penalised women for not adhering to a stringent dress code, the Iranian prosecutor general said after the anti-hijab protest continued into the third month, triggered by the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini after she was detained by the police force.
Iran’s Attorney General Mohammad Javad Montazeri said that the morality police “was abolished by the same authorities who installed it.” He, however, went on to suggest that the judiciary would still enforce restrictions on “social behaviour.” Abolishing the morality police would have a major impact on the state’s ability to control what women wear.
He made this statement during the meeting where officials were discussing the unrest ignited by the death of the young woman, Mahsa Amini, 22, in September in the custody of the morality police. The unrest has amounted to one of the biggest challenges in decades to Iran’s system of authoritarian clerical rule.
On Thursday last week, the attorney general stated that the authorities were reviewing the law requiring women to cover their bodies in long, loose clothing and their hair with a head scarf or hijab and would issue a decision within 15 days. The absence of any official government statement on disbanding the force left some to question where the policy stood exactly.
But by late Sunday, the authorities had not issued a denial on state media outlets either, even after the attorney general’s remarks were widely reported by the international news media.
According to Norway’s Iran Human Rights group, 60 of the 448 verified fatalities were minors under 18, including nine girls. Another 29 victims were women.
According to the report, security personnel have murdered 16 people in the past week alone, 12 of them were killed in Kurdish-populated areas where demonstrations have been particularly violent.
More than 300 individuals had been slain, according to Brigadier General Amirali Hajjizadeh of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps earlier on Tuesday. This was the first time the government had confirmed such a number, Arab News reported.
Earlier on Thursday, India abstained from voting on a United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) resolution to set up a fact-finding mission to investigate the alleged Human Rights violation committed on protesters in Iran that started on September 16.