Iran’s vice police resume patrols wearing headscarves, state media says

Iran’s vice police will resume patrols to force women to adhere to strict Islamic dress codes, state media reported on Sunday, 10 months after the death of a young woman in their custody sparked protests across the country. the country.

Saeid Montazeralmahdi, spokesman for Iran’s law enforcement agency Faraja, said police would resume vehicle and foot patrols across the country from Sunday, the agency reported. Fars official press.

Officers will warn women who do not comply first, while those who “insist on breaking the standards” could face legal action, he said.

Vice police were thrust into the international spotlight in September last year when 22-year-old Mahsa Amini died three days after being forcibly arrested for wearing her hijab, or headscarf, incorrectly and taken to a “re-education” centre. .

Iranian police have announced a new campaign to force women to wear the Islamic headscarf.  -Vahid Salemi/AP

Iranian police have announced a new campaign to force women to wear the Islamic headscarf. -Vahid Salemi/AP

His death sparked nationwide protests that rocked the country, posing one of the biggest domestic threats to Iran’s ruling clerical regime in more than a decade.

Authorities reacted violently to quell the months-long movement, during which witnesses said the vice police had all but disappeared from the streets of Tehran.

Iran executed at least 582 people last year, a 75% increase from 2021, according to rights groups who say the rise reflects an effort by Tehran to sow fear among anti-regime protesters.

The morality police have access to power, weapons and detention centers and control “re-education centers”, Human Rights Watch told CNN last year. The group is sanctioned by the United States and the European Union.

The centers act as detention centers, where women – and sometimes men – are taken into custody for violating state rules of modesty.

Inside the facilities, inmates receive lessons on Islam and the importance of the hijab, and are required to sign a pledge to abide by state dress regulations before being released.

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