Vice police abolished in Iran

Symbolic victory for protesters in Iran. The Attorney General announced the abolition of the morality police, who had arrested the Kurdish Mahsa Amini when she was not wearing her veil. The death of the young girl, following her violent arrest, had triggered a major protest movement in the country.

“The morality police have nothing to do with the judiciary, and it was abolished by those who created it,” Iranian Attorney General Mohammad Jafar Montazeri said Saturday night in the holy city of Qom. On Friday, he had already announced that the law on the compulsory wearing of the veil could be modified soon, without indicating whether this change would go in the direction of a relaxation or a hardening.

From ultra-conservatives to moderates, a sensitive issue

The vice police, known as the Gasht-e Ershad (guidance patrols), were created under ultra-conservative President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in 2006, to “spread the culture of decency and hijab”. It is made up of men in green uniforms and women wearing the black chador, which covers the head and upper body. The role of the morality police has evolved over the years, but it has always been divisive, even among presidential candidates.

Under moderate President Hassan Rohani, you could see women in tight jeans wearing colorful veils. But last July, his successor, the ultra-conservative Ebrahim Raisi, called for the mobilization of “all institutions to strengthen the law on the veil”, declaring that “the enemies of Iran and Islam wanted to undermine the cultural and religious values ​​of society by spreading corruption”. Women who violated the Islamic Republic of Iran’s strict dress code risked being picked up by this unit.

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