Iran Protests: Amid Reports of ‘Morality Police’ Disbandment, Indian Women’s Group Lauds Iranian Women
Image Courtesy: NDTV
Delhi: The All India Democratic Women’s Association (AIDWA) on Wednesday congratulated the “brave women of Iran” and their fellow protesters who have been demonstrating on the streets for the last three months against the custodial death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini.
Hailing the movement for effecting the withdrawal of the controversial ‘morality police’, AIDWA extended its solidarity to the protestors who have been incarcerated in Iran.
The statement by AIDWA noted that Iranian women protested Amini’s alleged death at the hands of the ‘morality police’ by burning the hijab and publicly cutting off their long hair. Many progressive intellectuals, students, artists and citizens of Iran defied “the wrath of the oppressive regime and faced batons and bullets,” it said.
In September this year, 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, a Kurdish-Iranian woman, was arrested by the ‘morality police’ for allegedly not covering her head with the hijab properly. The ‘morality police’ or Guidance Patrol is tasked with enforcing strict dress codes and the Islamic Code of Conduct.
Her family alleged that Amini was beaten and her head was struck several times, following which she fell into a coma and passed away on September 16. The government and police have denied the accusations, claiming that her death was caused by an "underlying disease". Amini’s death triggered anti-government protests that swept the country.
Iranians of all ages, ethnicities and genders have reportedly joined in the protests primarily led by women belonging to the younger generations.
“This unremitted and united struggle for women’s right to choose their dress and to move freely in public has forced the Iranian government to withdraw the morality police. The attorney-general of Iran announced that the morality police is not a part of the judicial system in the country. The women of Iran have provided a shining example of what a united struggle for autonomy and equality can do,” the AIDWA statement said.
The Left women’s organisation noted that it was “a great victory for the women of Iran and also for women all over the world resisting the oppression and religious extremism of various kinds.” It was also a lesson for autocratic governments worldwide who use religion to suppress women’s rights, it added.
Iran’s Attorney General Mohammad Jafar Montazeri recently told the media that the Guidance Patrol "have been shut down from where they were set up". However, Iran’s government did not confirm the news, creating uncertainty over the development, the BBC reported.
“Now with the withdrawal of the morality police, we expect the Raisi regime to withdraw all the cases and release all those who have been jailed during these protests,” AIDWA said.
Meanwhile, the protesters escalated their opposition to Iran’s clerical rule by calling for a three-day economic strike and a rally in Tehran’s Azadi Square on Wednesday.
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