In Iran, rare criticism of ‘morality police’ after Amini death

TEHRAN: The death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini After she was arrested by Iran’s “moral police”, not only caused protests in the country, but also was rarely openly criticized by senior officials.
Public anger has grown since authorities announced Amini’s death after she was arrested by the police unit responsible for enforcing Iran’s strict dress code for women, including including wearing a headscarf to cover your hair in public.
Amid growing controversies over ethical police conduct, officially known as the Gasht-e Ershad or “Guide Patrol”, Parliament Speaker Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf on Tuesday said the police unit’s conduct should be investigated.
State news agency IRNA quoted him as saying: “In order to prevent the repetition of such cases, the procedures and methods implemented in the guided patrol… should be investigated,” he said.
The state-run Ethics Promotion and Duplicate Prevention, set up to encourage good behavior and prohibit unethical activities, says the police unit should not arrest people who break the law. dress regulations.
“The position on this matter should be changed,” the influential organization said in a statement, stressing that it opposes “the arrest and trial of ordinary people” for violations. clothes.
“The criminalization of those not wearing the hijab and the arrest, profiling and prosecution of those who will only cause social tension … should be amended in the law,” it added.
Amini’s death caused international horror, including from United Nation.
The US criticized her death and the way security forces handled the protests that followed.
Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian on Tuesday dismissed the criticism and said an investigation had been ordered into the “tragic death of Mahsa”, who he said, quoting President Ebrahim Raisi , “like our daughters”.
Inside Iran, and following protests in the capital Tehran and several other provinces, lawmakers have also spoken out.
Jalal Rashidi Koochi, a member of parliament, told the ISNA news agency that the police unit was a “mistake” as it only resulted in “loss and damage” for Iran.
Another lawmaker, Moeenoddin Saeedi, said the unit “should be abolished” and closed, the ILNA news agency reported.
Priests have also spoken out.
Ayatollah Asadollah Bayat Zanjani, a high-ranking religious figure to which many follow, on Saturday criticized the events that led to Amini’s death.
“The set of acts and events that caused this unfortunate and unfortunate incident is illegal, unjustified and illegitimate,” the cleric said in a statement.
On the streets, protesters showed their anger.
On Sunday, police arrested and fired tear gas in Amini’s hometown of Kurdistan province, where about 500 people protested, some smashing car windows and burning trash cans, reports said. .
On Monday, several hundred protesters in Tehran, including some women who took off their headscarves, were dispersed by “police using batons and tear gas”, according to reports. Fars Press Agency.
Governor of Tehran Mohsen Mansouri on Tuesday said protests in the capital were “fully organized with the agenda to create unrest”, in a Twitter post.
“Burning flags, pouring gasoline on the street, throwing stones, attacking policemen, setting fire to motorbikes, trash cans, destroying public property … are not ordinary people’s business,” he said.
Meanwhile, representatives of supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in Kurdistan province visited Mahsa’s family at their home, Tasnim news agency said on Tuesday.
“I assure the family … that all organizations will act to protect Miss Amini’s violated rights and none of their rights will be ignored,” Abdolreza Pourzahbi was quoted as saying. .

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