Demonstrations began after the death of Iranian Kurd Mahsa Amini, detained for allegedly violating the country’s strict dress code.
The attorney general of WillMohammad Jafar Montazeri, announced the dissolution of the morale police after nearly three months of protests triggered by the death of the Iranian Kurd Mahsa Amini, 22, arrested for allegedly violating the country’s strict dress code. “The morality police has nothing to do with the judiciary” and has been suppressed, Montazeri said this Saturday night, reported the ISNA news agency this Sunday, 4. “The best way to face the disturbances is to pay attention to the real demands of the people, mostly related to subsistence and economic issues”, said the speaker of the presidency of the Parliament, Seyyed Nezamoldin Moussavi. Seen as a gesture towards the protesters, the announcement of the abolition of this unit comes after the authorities announced that they were looking into whether the 1983 law on the mandatory headscarf needed changes. The announcement was met with skepticism by Iranians on social media. In one of them, a user expressed his fear that the functions of this structure will, from now on, be taken over by another similar body. He also recalled the strong pressure that the families themselves exert on Iranian women.
Wearing a headscarf became mandatory in Iran in 1983, four years after the 1979 Islamic Revolution overthrew the shah’s monarchy, and the law states that both Iranian and foreign women, regardless of their religion, must wear a headscarf covering hair and wearing loose clothing in public. The Islamic Republic has been engulfed in a wave of protests since the death of young Mahsa on September 16 in the custody of the morality police. Authorities claim Amini’s death was caused by poor health, but her family says she died after being beaten. Since then, women have led the protests, in which they shout slogans such as “woman, life, freedom”, take off and burn their veils.
Also this Saturday, Montazeri announced that “Parliament and the Judiciary” were analyzing the issue of mandatory headscarves, but did not anticipate whether the law will be modified. The veil is a very sensitive issue in the Islamic Republic. On the one hand, there are the conservatives, who defend the 1983 law. On the other, the progressives, who want women to have the freedom to decide whether to wear the garment or not. Since the beginning of the protest movement, more and more women have taken to the streets without a headscarf, particularly in the wealthy north of Tehran. On September 24, Iran’s main reformist party called for an end to the headscarf requirement. Iran accuses the government of United States and its allies, as well as its great enemy Israel, of involvement in the protests, which it classifies as “riots”. According to the most recent balance sheet released by Iranian General Amirali Hajizadeh, of the Revolutionary Guard, more than 300 people have died in the demonstrations since September 16. Several NGOs claim, however, that the real number would be more than double.
*With information from AFP