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The morality police in Iran


In support of Iranian women, Belgian MP Darya Safai cut a lock of her hair at a plenary session of the House. This gesture is a real symbol of support. 

There have been recent reports that Iran will disband the morality police to quell anti-regime protests. They were based on statements made by the country’s Attorney General, Mohammad Jafar Montazeri. Nevertheless, no official confirmation was made, which caused confusion and scepticism. In the media, the news quickly spread that the morality police had been disbanded in Iran, although the prosecutor does not have the power to abolish this police force created in 2006 to ensure the respect of the Iranian dress code, including the wearing of the veil. Nor have the authorities confirmed the end of the morality police, as it has not really been abolished, according to Jonathan Piron, historian and Iran specialist for Etopia, a Brussels-based research centre. According to him, the announcement has been over-interpreted. 

As a reminder: the patrol had arrested Mahsa Amini in September for not wearing her veil properly. The 22-year-old Kurdish woman died a few days after her arrest. Since then, thousands of people have demonstrated against the Islamic regime that has ruled Iran since 1979. The Iranian authorities have violently repressed the uprising, killing more than 300 people and detaining 15,000. At least ten people have been sentenced to death for their participation in the protests.

The symbolic protest of the Belgian MP Darya Safai should serve as a wake-up call to Europe that the protesters in Iran deserve our support.


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