Iranian morality police allegedly abolished after months of protests

After months of protests that started with the death of Mahsa Amini in September, an Iranian official has reported the morality policy has been abolished. Amini died in September after she was detained by Iran’s morality police for supposedly violating the country’s dress laws. Her death sparked months of protests in the country.

During a Saturday meeting, Iran's Attorney General Mohammad Javad Montazeri said the morality police “was abolished by the same authorities who installed it.” Iranian state media have strongly pushed back against Montazeri’s remarks, stating the Interior Ministry oversees the force, not the judiciary. As of Sunday, Dec. 4, there has been no confirmation from the Interior Ministry.

Since protests have begun, hundreds of people have been killed in the unrest. Iranian officials have continued to state that Tehran would not change the Islamic Republic’s mandatory hijab policy. In the past few weeks, calls for strike action and mass mobilization have resulted in an escalation of unrest within Iran.

According to Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA), a total of 471 protesters have been killed since Sept. 17. This number includes 64 minors. They also state 61 regime forces have been killed and 18,210 individuals have been arrested, with only 3,546 being identified.

A top state security body in Iran disagrees with HRANA’s estimate, saying that 200 people, including members of security forces, have lost their lives. The United Nations has disagreed with this figure, stating that the anti-government protests have cost more than 300 lives.

Despite the widespread protests going on the past few months, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi on Saturday, Dec. 3, hailed Iran’s Islamic Republic as a guarantor of rights and freedoms. “Iran has the most progressive constitution in the world,” Raisi said in his speech. He said this is because the constitution marries “ideals with democracy.”

Additionally, Iranian state media on Sunday, Dec. 4 stated that four individuals were executed and three were given prison sentences between five and 10 years for acting against national security. Those executed were charged with “the crime of cooperating with the intelligence services of the Zionist regime and for kidnapping.” They were convicted of cooperating with Israel’s intelligence agency Mossad, and thus executed. Iran’s state media claimed that this group of individuals were behind the kidnapping and interrogation of Iranaian national Mansour Rasouli.