Official media: Iran’s morality police resume hijab patrols
TEHRAN, July 17 (IANS) Iran’s state media reported that the country’s morality police have resumed patrols to ensure women adhere to dress codes and cover their hair in public, some 10 months after protests erupted across the country following the death of a young woman in custody.
Saeed Muntazer Mahdi, a spokesman for Faraga – Iran’s law enforcement body – said the morality police have restarted their vehicles and foot patrols across the country as of Sunday, CNN reported, citing the state-run Fars news agency.
The spokesperson added that officers will first warn women who do not comply, while those who “insist on breaking norms”, may face legal action.
In September 2022, 22-year-old Mohsa Amini died three days after she was arrested by the morality police for improperly wearing a hijab or hijab and taken to a “re-education” centre.
Although the patrols were temporarily halted in the wake of the massive national protests that erupted in response to Hana’s death, Islamist militants have demanded they resume, reports the BBC.
Under Iranian law, women must cover their hair with veils and wear long, loose-fitting clothes to hide their figures.
The morality police unit is tasked with ensuring that these rules are respected, and detaining people who are seen to be wearing “indecent” clothing.
CNN reported that they run detention centers where women – and sometimes men – are held for failing to comply with the state’s rules on modesty.
Inside the centers, detainees are given lessons about Islam and the importance of the headscarf, and are made to sign a pledge to abide by government dress codes before being released.
In Iran’s months of violent anti-government protests, nearly 600 protesters have been killed, including many by government executions.
Many women stopped wearing the veil altogether in what was the most direct challenge to clerical rule in Iran since the 1979 revolution.
Iran executed at least 582 people last year, up 75 percent from 2021, according to human rights groups.