The ‘morality police’ conundrum in Iran

While Iranian official media denied that the ‘Morality Police’ was abolished after the Mahsa Amini demonstrations, government officials made contradictory statements. Activists argue that the regime is trying to distract with these news.

The news that the Irshad Patrols, which served as the ‘Morality Police’ in Iran, were abolished, had a great impact both in the country and in the world at the weekend. It was reported that Iran’s Chief Prosecutor Mohammad Jafar Montazeri said that the mandatory headscarf law was being reviewed, and that the Moral Police had also been abolished.



The 'morality police' conundrum in Iran

Mohammed Cafer Muntazeri’s statements created confusion.



However, Iranian state media denied Muntazeri, stating that the Ministry of Interior supervises the law enforcement, and that this is not the task of the judiciary. It was stated that Muntazeri’s statement was an impromptu response to a question posed to him at a conference. The world press had announced the development in question as the regime’s ‘backward step’.



Seyid Ali Hanmuhammedi, spokesman of Iran’s Unit of Enjoining Good and Preventing Evil, said in an exclusive interview with Jamaran News website that “the mission of the Irshad Patrols is over”. Answering the question about whether the unit in question was closed or not, the spokesperson said, “The duty of the morality police, acting on the orders of the prosecutor’s office and judicial authorities, has ended.” The spokesperson said that the headscarf inspections “could be continued by the necessary units, using more up-to-date, more effective and modern methods and technology.”  


The 'morality police' conundrum in Iran



Activists In Iran , on the other hand, warned the protesters that the government was trying to distract them with these news. The names at the head of the protests stated that there is no change in the clothes of women in the country, and that the Morality Police is also on duty. A new three-day strike was called for in the social media posts. In the statement, it was stated that even if the Irshad Patrols were abolished, this would not change the regime’s headscarf policy, only the enforcement of the rule could be changed.


– The detention of Mahsa Amini (22) by the Moral Police in Tehran on the grounds that she did not cover up according to the rules, and her death on September 16, three days later, caused a great reaction from the public.

– Although Iranian authorities have launched an investigation, Amini’s death sparked the country’s biggest protests since the 1979 Islamic Revolution. According to the Norway-based Human Rights organization, 448 people have been killed in protests since September 16.


Roya Boroumand, co-founder of the US-based human rights organization Abdorrahman Boroumand Center, told the French agency AFP, “It may be a little late to dissolve this union ( Moral Police ). Because the protesters now want regime change. Also, abolishing this union without changing the laws that control women’s clothes and the private life of citizens would be just a PR step,” he said.


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