Iran abolishes morality police after nationwide protests

Amidst ongoing protests against the country’s ruling clerical regime, Iran has abolished its morality police, The New York Times reported Sunday. 

The decision by the Iranian government was reportedly broadcast by state-run news outlets. The news appeared to be additionally confirmed by Iran’s attorney general, Mohammad Jafar Montazeri, who said during a religious conference that the morality police “have been shut down from where they were set up,” according to BBC News.

The abolition of the morality police comes after widespread anger following the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who died in police custody earlier this year after being detained for not wearing a hijab.

Iran’s morality police were tasked with enforcing the nation’s strict Islamic dress code, and their disbandment represents a major victory for the protesters. It also notably marks the first major concession given to the protesters by the ruling regime.

However, Montazeri reportedly said that while the morality police were no more, the actual law requiring women to wear hijabs in public was still in effect. While these regulations would be reviewed, Montazeri added that restrictions on “social behavior” would still be highly enforced, the Times reported.  

With the victory against the Iranian regime in their back pocket, the protesters do not appear to be letting up anytime soon. Mostly made up of college-age women, protesters across the capital city of Tehran are urging merchants to participate in a three-day strike, Reuters reported. The strike would come ahead of a planned visit this Wednesday from Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi.