Protest-hit Iran abolishes morality police

Morality police have nothing to do with the judiciary, says attorney general


AFP December 04, 2022
A police motorcycle burns during a protest over the death of Mahsa Amini, a woman who died after being arrested by the Islamic republic's "morality police", in Tehran, Iran September 19, 2022. PHOTO: REUTERS

Iran has scrapped its morality police after more than two months of protests triggered by the arrest of Mahsa Amini for allegedly violating the country's strict female dress code, local media said on Sunday.

"Morality police have nothing to do with the judiciary" and have been abolished, Attorney General Mohammad Jafar Montazeri was quoted as saying by the ISNA news agency.

His comment came at a religious conference where he responded to a participant who asked "why the morality police were being shut down," the report said.

The morality police — known formally as the Gasht-e Ershad or "Guidance Patrol" — were established under hardline president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, to "spread the culture of modesty and hijab," the female head covering.

Also read: Iran's hijab law under review: attorney general

The units began patrols in 2006.

The announcement of their abolition came a day after Montazeri said that "both parliament and the judiciary are working (on the issue)" of whether the law requiring women to cover their heads needs to be changed.

President Ebrahim Raisi said in televised comments on Saturday that Iran's republican and Islamic foundations were constitutionally entrenched "but there are methods of implementing the constitution that can be flexible".

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