Iran prosecutor general signals ‘morality police’ suspended

There has been no official police confirmation on the forces being taken off the streets, and no sign that a law requiring mandatory hijab will be changed.Tehran has suspended its morality police, the Iranian prosecutor general said as protests in the country continue into the third month.

The protests erupted shortly after the death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old woman who was arrested by a unit of the morality police in Tehran for allegedly not adhering to the country’s mandatory dress code for women.

Speaking on Saturday at an event about “outlining the hybrid war during recent riots”, which is how Iranian officials describe alleged foreign influence in the unrest, Prosecutor General Mohammad Jafar Montazeri was quoted as saying by local media that morality police operations are over.

The morality police “has no connection with the judiciary and was shut down by the same place that it had been launched from in the past”, he said, reportedly answering a question on why the morality police have been shut down.

There were no other confirmations that the work of the patrolling units – officially tasked with ensuring “moral security” in the society – has been terminated. Montazeri also did not say the morality police have been indefinitely scrapped.

Moreover, there was no indication the law that imposes the mandatory dress code will be terminated.The forces would ride around in white and green vans, mostly telling women on the streets to fix their headscarves or taking them to so-called “re-education” centres if deemed required, but the vans have not been seen around Tehran or other cities recently.It was in one of those centres where Amini appeared to suffer a stroke as shown by security camera footage the authorities released. She died in a nearby hospital after being in a coma for three days.

A final report by the coroner’s office claimed she died as a result of pre-existing conditions, but her family said they suspected she was beaten.

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