the sinister “morality police” of the Islamic Republic has returned to the streets of Iranian cities. A spokesperson for the body, Saied Montazeralmahdi, confirmed this Sunday the return of the patrols with the main objective of being relentless with women who do not wear the hijab well.
In the words of the aforementioned spokesperson for the ‘morality police’ or Gasht-e Ershad (Orientation Patrols in Persian), “by car and on foot”, the officers of the body “will warn and bring to justice those who, unfortunately, insist on their unlawful behavior without worrying about the consequences (…) of being outside of that”.
According to Montaeralmahdi, the return of the body responds to the “demands of the population and institutions” to “expand public security” and “Strengthen the pillars of the family”. The hijab is a fundamental element of the faith as conceived by the theocratic regime since its implantation in 1979.
The most common interventions by the agents of the aforementioned body of morality -which depends hierarchically on the Ministry of the Interior and on the supreme leader himself, the ayatollah Ali Khamenei-range from demanding to women and girls who meet all the clothing requirements of islamincluding their “correct” placement of the hijab, to forcing any passerby to change their clothing if it is perceived that it violates religious morality.
The Gashte Ershad agents have the power to fine and arrest citizens, and even take them in their traditional vans to “re-education centers” to ensure that they do not engage in the same “sinful” behaviors again. However, the imposition of wearing the veil has been in the Penal Code since 1983.
Ten months after the death of Mahsa Amini
The return of the body occurs ten months after the death in strange circumstances of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Kurdish woman, while she was detained by the Police in Tehran. The young woman’s crime had been none other than not wearing the Islamic veil properly, according to the criteria of the “moral agents”. According to her relatives, the physical attacks suffered at the hands of the Police would cost him his life after three days in detention.
The death on September 16 of Mahsa, who had just found work in her hometown, saqezhe was in Tehran to visit relatives and never gave up the dream of being able to study at the university, unleashed a popular protest movement unprecedented in its size and perseverance in the last decades of Iranian history.
The revolt, which was led by the younger generations of Iranian society, boldly denounced – and with women at the forefront – repression and corruption and demanded an end to the theocracy of the mullahs. The gesture of the young iranians taking off their headscarves and setting them on fire, and cutting strands of hair He went around the world. And he transcended as a resistance symbol.
But the regime would only respond with repression and death against a movement that was beginning to threaten its survival and was already eroding its legitimacy. After more than two months of protests, at the beginning of last December the sinister police force seemed to have left the streets for good. It has not been the case.
The only reality is that the violent intervention of the Iranian security forces against the demonstrators, whom they accuse of being part of a foreign conspiracy, was going to cost the lives of more than half a thousand people, including at least 70 minors. In addition, the regime has had no objection to executing several young people identified for their participation in the pro-democracy protests. Some 20,000 individuals have been detained by the security forces of the Islamic Republic for their involvement in the movement since last September.