ten months after the death of Mahsa Amini, the return of the morality police

ten months after the death of Mahsa Amini, the return of the morality police

2023-07-17 19:18:14

The morality police are back in Iran. The announcement was made by the Iranian police on Sunday July 16, through its director, General Saeed Montazer Al-Mahdi. “ By conducting patrols by car and on foot, the police will warn and punish people who unfortunately disobey orders and continue to violate the dress code. “, he warned in an official statement relayed by the Tasnim agency.

Now renamed ” unusual outfits police its principle remains the same. Repress. Established under former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in 2005, the morality police or Gasht-e-Ershad, which translates to ” orientation patrols refers to units of the Iranian police forces, made up of men wearing green uniforms and women in black chadors. They are responsible for spread the culture of decency and hijab », the Islamic veil.

In recent days, the return of these patrols has already become clearer through videos published on social networks. Here we saw a unveiled woman assaulted by a woman in a black chador. There, some characteristic white minibuses morality police deployed in Tehran. Iran’s reformist newspaper, Shargh, even reported on Sunday that four women had been sentenced to ” take psychology courses », « clean hospitals and had been banned from driving for two years », for not wearing the hijab in the public space.

Silence possible protests in tribute to Mahsa Amini

The date of this announcement leaves little room for coincidence. It comes precisely ten months after the death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old young woman arrested for violating the dress code of the Islamic Republic. Taken to a police station, she died in custody. His death triggered huge protest demonstrations, bloodily repressed by the Mullahs’ regime.

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« This return of the morality police shows that Tehran is afraid that the anniversary of the murder of Mahsa Amini will lead to new social movements and that the country will again fall into revolts “, analyzes Mahnaz Shirali, Iranian sociologist and political scientist, author of Window on Iran, the cry of a gagged people. A reactivated morality police “ to scare Iranians » and whose abolition « was just a rumor spread to the West ».

At the beginning of December 2022, this announcement by Tehran made the front page of many media, without however being formalized by a text of law. She had been denounced by protesters and some Westerners as a decoy from the authorities and a media maneuver to stem the revolution. The morality police, however, had withdrawn from the streets.

In the fall, more women came out with their heads uncovered. But the authorities have taken measures since the beginning of January to repress them again: closing of businesses, installation of cameras in the streets, proposal in May of a bill in ” support for the culture of hijab and chastity ” in order to ” protect society » et « strengthen family life “, a text, which suggests strengthening the sanctions, in particular financial, against “ anyone removing their veil in public places or on the Internet “. A whole repressive arsenal of which the official return of the morality police is only the apogee.

“The fear never left”

For Mahnaz Shirali, « we must look at Iran as a country under occupation and military repression “, in which the official return of the morality police shows above all that Tehran is afraid of its people” and does not know how to govern without terror “. She explains that young girls who go out into the streets with their heads uncovered ” don’t do it lightly and with fear in their stomachs. They tell me it’s an act of resistance ».

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« The purpose of these patrols is not to force people to wear the hijab. Its sole purpose is to repress and scare women away from taking to the streets to protest. “Abounds Sahar, 29 years old. Interviewed by telephone from Tehran, the young woman activist continued: “ This dictatorial and misogynistic regime in place for 44 years wants to neutralize us, but Iranian women have already offered too many martyrs to give up freedom “. Sahar presents herself as a “mujahideen”, a fighter. But recognize that “the fear is still there, because this regime is brutal and bloody. Yet have you seen how people, especially women, have overcome this fear? Despite the live ammunition, the murders, we took to the streets for several months ».

« I wear the hijab by choiceshe continues. But I believe in freedom of choice. Women have the right to dress freely ». For while the battle of the hijab became a powerful rallying cry last year, Iran’s ills are broader. ” Women have the right to freedom but in Iran we are deprived of all that by tyrants and a fascist dictatorship. This regime will not go anywhere with law enforcement patrols.Revolution is our only means. »

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