Amidst ongoing protests against the country’s ruling clerical regime, conflicting reports have emerged out of Iran that the country had abolished its “morality police,” The New York Times reported Sunday.
The news was reportedly announced 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 reported abolition of the morality police comes after widespread protests 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 would represent a major victory for the protesters. It would also mark the first major concession given to the protesters by the ruling regime.
However, despite Montazeri’s comments, the state-run Al-Alam television station pushed back on the claim that the morality police had been disbanded, CNN reported. “No official of the Islamic Republic of Iran has said that the Guidance Patrol has been shut,” the station said, adding that Montazeri’s judiciary was not directly related to the morality police and that the hijab law was under review.
Whether the disbandment of the morality police is true or not, the protesters do not appear to be letting up anytime soon. Mostly made up of college-age women, the protesters across the capital city of Tehran are urging merchants to participate in a three-day strike, Reuters reported.
Dec. 4, 2022: This article has been updated with new information regarding the morality police.