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Iran Abolishes ‘Morality Police’ After 2 Months Long Nationwide Protest
Iran’s prosecutor general, Mohamed Jafar Montazeri, said in a report published late Saturday by state news agency IRNA that the morality police had been closed but didn't say anything else about the state of the force or whether its closure was widespread and permanent
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Iran has abolished its morality police units after more than two months of protests sparked by the death of Mahsa Amini in detention for allegedly violating the country’s strict female dress code.
Iran's prosecutor general, Mohamed Jafar Montazeri, said in a report published late Saturday by state news agency IRNA that the morality police had been closed.
Montazeri didn't say anything else about the state of the force or whether its closure was widespread and permanent.
According to the Associated Press, Montazeri said that the judiciary continues to monitor behavioural actions at the community level.
The move comes amid widespread condemnation of Iran's regressive policies and aggressive response to protesters.
The ‘Gasht-e Ershad’ or Revolutionary Guards group, Iran’s morality police, was established in 2005 to arrest people who violate the country’s Islamic dress code.
Since September, Iran has been roiled by nationwide protests regarded as one of the most audacious challenges since the 1979 Islamic Revolution. The death of the 22-year-old Kurdish woman sparked violent protests across the country and international support poured in. Although the Iranian government maintains that Amini was not mistreated, her family claims that her body bore bruises and other signs of beating after she was detained.
Women have waved and burned headscarves in protest, which are required by Iran’s conservative dress codes. Artists and national athletes have also expressed support for the movement.
According to unofficial estimates, Iran's morality police used counter-offensive tactics to quell the protests, resulting in the deaths of hundreds of people.
On 29 November, an Iranian general admitted that more than 300 people had died in the unrest surrounding the nationwide protests, providing the first official word on casualties in two months.
World leaders and international organisations have condemned Iran's treatment of its protesters.
The US placed Iran, Pakistan, China and Russia among other countries of particular concern under the Religious Freedom Act on Friday.
UN experts have also urged Iran's majority Shi'ite Muslim government to stop persecuting and harassing religious minorities and using religion to limit the exercise of fundamental rights.
However, Iran accused Western countries of orchestrating the unrest and ethnic minority protesters of working on behalf of separatist groups.