Iran’s Police Is Unwilling to Back Down Regarding Hijab
WANA (July 17) – Saeed Montazer-al Mahdi, the spokesman of the Police Force of the Islamic Republic of Iran, announced the revival of the hijab patrols, which will now enforce hijab regulations.
“From today, with the establishment of police in the forms of cars and pedestrian patrols throughout the country, in addition to doing their other duties, these patrols will deal with those who – unfortunately- ignore the consequences of not having proper hijab and insist on disobeying the norms. And in addition to warning them, if they disobey the orders of the police force, legal action will be taken, and they will be referred to the judicial system.” Said Saeed Montazer-al Mahdi, the spokesman of the Police Force of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Last year and years before that, throughout Iran, there were police patrols that specialized in hijab regulation called the morality police. In the fall of 2022, after the death of Mahsa Amini in the custody of the morality police, protests erupted nationwide, with women leading the charge against the morality police and customary hijab. And many women stopped wearing the conventional hijab in public places.
During and after the protests, the morality police and patrols did not continue to operate. Although some individuals verbally warned girls without hijabs, no legal actions were taken against them.
On July 17th, after 9-10 months of inactivity, the morality police officially resumed operation.
From the first hours of the publication of this news, we have witnessed different reactions from individuals and groups on Iranian social media. Some favored this revival, believing it might help the community restore its previous hijab setting.
In contrast, others felt the morality patrols would promote aggression toward people and the police force.
Today, the WANA team went to the streets to gauge public opinion beyond social media. In a busy Tehran street, Ms. Ismaili, a university student, told our reporters that she believed the reintroduction of the morality police would have a negative impact on our community. “The number of people who do not obey hijab regulation is too many. They cannot handle all of us. The last thing they can do is use violence and force against us.” Said Ms. Ismaili about the effectiveness of the morality police.
Meanwhile, a male employee walking in the street during the revival of morality police said that even if the hijab patrols must resume their action, they should change their approach.
For now, most people in society are reluctant to comply with these patrols, but the government is unwilling to back down from their standpoint.
WANA writer / S, Khezri / July 17th, 2023