Iran: Farewell to the Morality Police, but the veil will remain

the end of the dreaded Police of the Moral It marks the first victory for the demonstrators who have been protesting for almost three months in Iranbut everything seems to indicate that the obligatory nature of the veil will remain and only the methods to impose it will change.

After almost three months of protests, more than 400 deaths and thousands of detainees, the Iranian authorities are beginning to give in to try to control the mobilizations unleashed by the death of the young Mahsa Amini after being detained precisely by the Police of the morality for wearing the Islamic veil wrong.

But the disappearance of the body that for years has treated women as criminals for not covering their hair with a veil, wearing high boots or not closing their coats properly does not seem to guarantee the freedoms that the protesters are asking for with the cry of “woman , life, freedom”.

modern methods

“The mission of the patrols of the Morale Police has finished”, declared the spokesman of the Center for the Promotion of Virtue and Prohibition of Vice, Ali Janmohamadí, confirming the announcement of the attorney general, Mohamad Jafar Montazeri, days before.

But Janmohamadí affirmed that his body, which monitors morality and customs in the Persian country, is looking for more “modern” ways and with “new technologies” to apply the laws of chastity and hijab.

These statements have been endorsed by other authorities who affirm that new policies regarding the veil, mandatory since 1983, will be announced in the coming days.

The hijab is one of the symbols of Islamic Republic Founded in 1979 by Ayatollah Ruholá Khomeini, who defined the garment as the “flag of the revolution” and without which women were “naked”.

Parliament deputy Hosein Yalalí has ​​given some clues about the plans of the authorities, which do not seem to be relaxing clothing policies, as many expected, especially the protesters.

“It is possible to notify people who do not wear the hijab through text messages and urge them to abide by the laws,” the MP and cleric told the Shargh newspaper.

If after that notification the woman still does not wear the veil, she will go to the “warning stage”, which did not explain what it consists of, and finally to the punishment stage.

“It is possible that the bank account of the person without the veil will be blocked,” said Yalalí, who is part of the Parliament’s Culture Commission.

In fact, the deputy stated that “we will increase the punishment of bad hijab” after the revision of the regulations.

The “bad hijab” is now punishable by fines and up to two months in prison.

Before the start of the riots, the authorities already indicated that they were studying the use of technologies such as facial recognition with cameras in metro stations and buses to identify women who do not wear the veil, without giving further details.

In fact, the Iranian authorities already use traffic cameras to ticket women who drive without the mandatory headscarf, who are identified by vehicle license plates.

Thus, everything seems to indicate that alternatives to the patrols of the Morality Police will be sought to monitor and punish Iranian women who do not comply with the strict dress code of the Islamic Republic.

In its current format, the Morality Police has existed since 2005, but before that it had various incarnations, and this is what will happen again now.

defiance gestures

It is difficult to find young women who have not suffered run-ins with the Morality Police for their lack of “chastity” or “bad hijab”, and have been fined or forced to attend re-education classes.

White vans with green stripes bearing the phrase “Guidance Patrol” (Gasht-e Ershad in Persian) of the Morale Police have disappeared from the streets since the start of the protests, resulting in new freedoms.

More and more women are venturing through the streets of the Persian country without the veil, in a gesture of defiance and civil disobedience, unthinkable just two months ago.

But only the disappearance of the Morality Police does not seem to be going to calm some protests that have been calling for the end of the Islamic Republic for weeks, shouting “death to the dictator”, in reference to the supreme leader of Iran, Ali Khamenei. (EFE-Jaime León)

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