in Iran ‘not following the hijab rules’ on the grounds ‘morality police’ The protests that started for the 22-year-old Mehsa Emini, who died after being taken into custody, spread all over the world. One of the morality police “It is as if we are being sent to hunt” he tells.
According to the news compiled by the BBC ‘Gasht-e Ershad’ well ‘Guide Patrols’ Police unit tasked with enforcing strict rules in Iran. These cops are Islamic. ‘code of morals’ It is obliged to monitor whether it is implemented on the street and to detain people who they think violated.
According to the laws of Iran, which adopts Sharia rules, women must cover their heads and wear loose, long clothes so that no part of their bodies is visible.
‘Morality police’ denies torture allegations
Emini was detained on 13 September for covering her head to leave part of her hair uncovered. Then Emini’sHe fell to the ground in the detention center and fell into a coma. explained; He died three days later in the hospital.
‘Morality police’, that Emini was tortured; He denies reports that he was hit on the head with a baton by the police.
‘Why are we assigned to a crowded place’
One of these police officers, who rarely spoke to the press, told the BBC about his experience anonymously:
“They told us the reason we work as morality police is to protect women. Because if they are not dressed properly, they can provoke men and men can harm them. This is very strange because if we only have a duty to guide people, why are we deployed in crowded places where we can detain more people? It’s like we’re being sent to hunt, not to guide.”
The police also say that if they do not identify and detain enough women within a certain period of time, their commander gets angry with him and reports him.
‘Women are resisting detentions’
She adds that now women are resisting detention and this is getting harder:
“They want us to forcefully take these women into police cars. Do you know how many times I’ve been in tears doing this? go to them‘I’m not one of them’ I want to say. Most of us are normal people doing their mandatory military service. I feel very bad.”
After the 1979 Iranian Islamic Revolution ‘with the wrongly fitted headscarf or the wrongly worn clothes’ Iranian officials, who said that they would fight, targeted women’s clothes, how they would dress and how they would behave.
It was not uncommon for women to wear miniskirts and walk the streets with their hair uncovered in Iran at that time. Until the pro-Western Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi was overthrown, women enjoyed more freedom than today. The Shah’s wife, Ferah, also dresses in Western style. ‘Western modern woman’ was cited as an example.
However, just months after the establishment of the Islamic Republic of Iran, all laws on women’s rights under the shah were abolished. 78-year-old activist Mehrangiz Kar, who organized the first anti-hijab protest in the country after the revolution, “Nothing happened overnight, the process went step by step” He describes those days by saying: “Right after the revolution, we began to see men and women on the streets wearing headscarves wrapped in gift wrap. They were giving these covers to women as gifts.”
On March 7, 1979, the leader of the revolution, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, declared that the headscarf was compulsory for all women in the workplace; women who do not wear headscarves ‘to be considered naked’ issued a decree announcing
Snow, who lives in the USA today, describes those days as follows: “This speech was like an order made by many pro-revolutionists to make women obligated to wear the hijab, suggesting that they could enforce it. Many thought they could change that overnight, but the women rebelled. Of course, the new administration immediately intervened against the women who rebelled. More than a hundred thousand people, mostly women, gathered on the streets of Tehran the next day. That day was March 8, International Women’s Day.”
‘We got more creative about what to wear’
women and girls in 1981. ‘Islamic style’ The obligation to dress was added to the law.
This included a black sheet that covered the whole body and a smaller headscarf that covered the head. Or it was obligatory to wear a headscarf and a loose-fitting dress that covered the sleeves.
According to Kar, the rebellion continued for many women individually after that:
“We started getting more creative about what we were going to wear. We wore headscarves, but we didn’t cover all of our hair. We were fighting every time they stopped us.”
In 1983, a parliamentary resolution stated that women who did not completely cover their hair in public could be punished with 74 lashes. To this was added a 60-day prison sentence.
However, the police had difficulties in enforcing these laws. Because many women of all ages struggled to overcome the limits imposed on them in the public sphere, and they responded to the police with actions such as tight clothing, jackets with short sleeves, or wearing their headscarves halfway.
The difficulty in the implementation of these rules and the severity of the penalties varied according to the approach of the president who came to power. The ultra-conservative Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who was once the mayor of Tehran, was more on the subject during his presidential campaign in 2004. ‘progressive attitude’ He claimed to receive: “Everyone has a different taste and we have to serve everyone.”
But when he won the elections ‘morality police’ The unit was officially created. Until then, the dress code was enforced by other police units or military units randomly assigned to the streets that day. ‘Morality police’ by the public ‘despotic approaches’ has been frequently criticized.
Women began to be detained frequently on very simple grounds and released when they made serious promises that they would not break the rules in the future.
‘My daughter and I were detained for wearing lipstick’
A woman living in Isfahan told the BBC: “I was stopped and detained with my daughter because we were both wearing lipstick” He describes his detention experience by saying: “They took us to the police station and told my wife to come there. When my husband came, they made him sign a paper that he would not let us out again without a headscarf or inappropriately.”
Another woman living in Tehran said, “A woman morality police ‘it’s very erotic and can provoke men’ He took me into custody saying He describes what happened to him as follows:
“I called my wife and told her to bring me a pair of shoes. After putting on the new shoes, I signed a paper where I had to admit that I had committed a crime, and that was how I was released.”
As other women who had experience with the moral police recounted, the officers became more and more harsh and cruel, and more and more unconventional punishments, including violence, were imposed. A woman accused one of the police officers for resisting detention. ‘will put cockroaches on it’ tells what he said.
New wave of detentions
President Ibrahim Reisi signed a new decree on August 15, just after he was elected last year, introducing a new set of restrictions.
These include tracking women by placing many cameras on the streets, imposing harsher penalties on women who do not cover their heads properly, and ‘to advise’ There are also practices such as taking them to the police station and prison sentences for those who post anything against the headscarf on the internet.
These restrictions led to an increase in detentions and arrests. At the same time, the number of photos and videos shared by women without a headscarf on social media increased as a reaction.
After Emini’s death, these shares increased even more. During Emini’s funeral, the women recorded and shared the footage of them taking off their headscarves and shaking them.
Afterwards, some of the women who took to the streets in many places across the country burned their headscarves, and the protests of some were applauded by the men.