Tuesday, December 6, 2022

What, no moral police? Iran activists deny the claim

No morality police? Iran activists reject claim

 PARIS: On Monday, Western nations and activists in Iran rejected a claim that the Islamic republic, which was rocked by protests, was disbanding its infamous morality police. They insisted that women's rights had not changed.

Nearly three months into a nationwide wave of unrest sparked by the 22-year-old Kurdish-Iranian woman Mahsa Amini's death in custody, Iranian shops shut down in several cities on Monday in response to protesters' calls for a three-day nationwide strike. In the meantime, the head of the judiciary attributed the threats to shopkeepers to what he referred to as "rioters."

The US state department stated, "Nothing we have seen suggests Iran's leadership is improving its treatment of women and girls or stopping the violence it inflicts on peaceful protesters." The disbanding of the morality police, "if it is implemented, won't change that," according to the German foreign ministry, which stated that Iranian protesters "want to live freely and in self-determination."

Mohammad Jafar Montazeri, Iran's general prosecutor, was quoted as saying that the morality police units had been shut down in an unexpected move over the weekend.

Campaigners, on the other hand, were skeptical of his remarks because they appeared to be an impromptu response to a question at a conference rather than an announcement made by the interior ministry that was clearly marked. This is a PR move, Roya Boroumand, cofounder of the US-based Abdorrahman Boroumand Centre rights group, stated. "Unless they remove all legal restrictions on women's dress and the laws controlling citizens' private lives, this is a PR move."

Activists argued that instead of changing Iran's headscarf policy, eliminating the force would change how it was enforced.

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