Iran takes over infamous ‘morality police’ to enforce compulsory hijab law

LONDON — Iran’s infamous hijab police, known as the “morality police”, are once again patrolling the streets, Iranian authorities have said.

The controversial measure was announced on Sunday along with a series of other tough measures taken against women just 10 months after Mahsa Amini’s death in police custody, an event that sparked bloody nationwide protests.

“The police … will take legal action against those who unfortunately continue to violate dress standards, regardless of the consequences of such action,” said Saeed Montazer al-Mahdi, spokesman for the security forces. Order of the Islamic Republic.

PHOTO: An Iranian vice policeman stands guard while guarding an area in Tehran, April 22, 2007.

An Iranian vice policeman stands guard while guarding an area in Tehran, April 22, 2007.

Morteza Nikoubazl/NurPhoto via Getty Images, FILE

Women will be warned to follow the rules of hijab and if they break them, the vice squad will refer them to the justice system, he said.

The return of the morality police marks the latest in a series of tough penalties – including the arrest of activists and the imposition of unusual court sentences – for those who fail to comply with the mandatory hijab law.

Last week, a photo of a controversial Tehran court sentence was published by national news agencies for a woman accused of driving without a headscarf. In addition to paying a fine, the woman is sentenced to “wash corpses in Tehran for a month” as part of “social service”.

In another notorious verdict, Azadeh Samadi, an Iranian actress, was ordered to refer to a therapist for mental health issues.

PHOTO: An Iranian woman looks on as a vice policeman checks her papers in Tehran, April 24, 2007.

An Iranian woman watches as a vice policeman checks her papers in Tehran, April 24, 2007.

Morteza Nikoubazl/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The judge in that case told Samadi she had to refer herself to a psychology center because of “antisocial personality disorder and her need to be seen breaking the norm.” Samadi was also banned from accessing his social media accounts.

The decision by the country’s radical regime to send the vice squad back to the streets comes two months before the first anniversary of Mahsa Amini’s death. Some activists said on social media that the regime is preparing to control the mood of Mahsa Amini’s birthday.

Amini, 22, was on a trip to Tehran last September when hijab police arrested her for not wearing the “real hijab”. She was taken into custody to be pronounced dead in a hospital three days later, according to the Islamic Republic News Agency.

Iran Human Rights reported that at least 537 people were killed in the protests that followed and at least 22,000 people were arrested, with IRNA confirming the number of arrests.

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