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Iran abolishes morality police amid huge anti-hijab unrest

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The demonstrations in Iran began as an emotional outpouring over the death of Mahsa Amini, a young woman held by the country's morality police for allegedly violating its strictly enforced dress code.

Tehran, Dec 04: Iran has suspended its morality police, AFP reported quoting the prosecutor general. The protests erupted shortly after the death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old woman who was arrested by a unit of the morality police in Tehran for allegedly not adhering to the country's mandatory dress code for women.

Representational Image

"Morality police have nothing to do with the judiciary" and have been abolished, Attorney General Mohammad Jafar Montazeri was quoted as saying by the ISNA news agency.

Nearly 300 people have been killed so far in anti-government protests and thousands have been arrested and jailed.

The Moral Police takes strict action against people, especially women, who do not dress according to the country's Islamic law or break Sharia law in any way.

The morality police- known as the Gasht-e Ershad or "Guidance Patrol"- were established under president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, to "spread the culture of modesty and hijab". The units began patrols in 2006.

The development came a day after the Attorney General had said that both 'the parliament and the judiciary are working' to conclude whether the statute governing an appropriate dress code for women was required.

However, there was no official confirmation that the patrolling units had been terminated.

The demonstrations in Iran began as an emotional outpouring over the death of Mahsa Amini, a young woman held by the country's morality police for allegedly violating its strictly enforced dress code.

The police say she died of a heart attack and was not mistreated, but her family has cast doubt on that account.

Iran's state-run media this week reported demonstrations of hundreds of people in at least 13 cities, including the capital, Tehran.

Iranian authorities imposed some restrictions on the internet and blocked access to WhatsApp and Instagram.

People in Tehran and some other cities planed to hold a counter-protest rally after the Friday prayer.

with PTI inputs

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