Tehran According to the Attorney General in Iran, the vice police, which until now have mainly been responsible for enforcing dress codes for women, have been disbanded. “The vice squad has been disbanded, but the judiciary will continue to deal with this societal challenge,” the Shargh newspaper quoted Attorney General Mohammed Jafar Montaseri as saying on Sunday. There were no further details about the circumstances and the implementation of the resolution.
Critics of the political leadership reacted cautiously to the announcement. The problem is not the moral police, but the lifting of the headscarf requirement, wrote an Iranian activist on Twitter. “Women must be able to go everywhere without a headscarf,” he demanded. And this is “only the first step.”
According to observers, the dissolution of the vice squad would not mean an end to compulsory headscarves for women, but it would represent an important partial success for the women’s movement in Iran.
The vice police were the catalyst for the system-critical uprisings in the country that have been going on for more than two months. In mid-September, the Islamic moral guardians arrested 22-year-old Mahsa Amini. A few strands of hair are said to have peeked out from under her headscarf. Amini died a few days later in the custody of the vice squad. Since then, people in Iran have been protesting against the Islamic system and its laws and regulations.
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Since the protests broke out, many women, especially in large cities, have increasingly ignored the headscarf requirement and Islamic dress codes. According to Islamic law, women must wear a headscarf and a long, loose coat to cover their hair and body contours in public. This law has been part of the socio-political doctrine of the Islamic system for more than 40 years in order, as it is called, to “save the country and people from Western cultural invasion”.
According to human rights activists, around 470 demonstrators have been killed since the demonstrations began, including 64 children and 60 security forces. Official information on this is contradictory. The Security Council speaks of 200, a commander of the Revolutionary Guards of 300 dead. In addition, thousands have been arrested in the past two months, including students, journalists, athletes and artists.
Some demonstrators have also been sentenced to death by revolutionary courts. Further protests – and according to opposition circles also strikes – are planned across the country from Monday
Government meets for the crisis summit – and announces a committee of inquiry
According to media reports, President Ebrahim Raisi met with several ministers for a crisis summit on Sunday. The latest developments in the country are on the agenda of the non-public meeting in the parliament in Tehran, the Isna agency reported on Sunday. According to the Presidential Office, Raisi had consulted with Parliament President Mohammed-Bagher Ghalibaf and Justice Chief Gholam-Hussein Mohseni-Edschehi on Saturday evening.
After the summit, Iran has set up an investigationannounced by the committee. However, neither demonstrators, system critics nor other political parties should take part, Interior Minister Ahmad Wahidi said on Sunday, according to the Ilna news agency.
The protesters had no representatives, “in addition, we were dealing with rioters and troublemakers and not demonstrators,” Wahidi said of the reasons for the exclusion of the protest representatives. According to the minister, the committee of inquiry is about “exploring the roots of the protests and therefore only relevant authorities and independent lawyers will take part in the discussions in the committee,” it said.
Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi has long been planning a forum as a kind of reconciliation gesture to discuss the protests in the country, which have been going on for more than two months, with critics and to resolve differences. However, critics warned that an investigation into the protests without the participation of protest leaders or opposition politicians would not yield constructive results. Some called the proposal “absurd”.
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