Attorney General of Iran Mohammad Jafar Montazeri has claimed that Iran’s parliament and judiciary are reviewing the country’s mandatory hijab law, according to pro-reform outlet Entekhab.
Montazeri was also quoted as saying Iran’s feared morality police had been “abolished” but Iranian state media strongly pushed back on those comments, saying the interior ministry oversees the force, not the judiciary.
The wearing of a hijab in public is currently mandatory for women in Iran under strict Islamic law that has been enforced by the country’s ‘morality police.’ The laws around the head covering sparked a nationwide protest protest after the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who died in police custody after being apprehended by the morality police allegedly for not wearing her hijab properly.
Her death on September 16 touched a nerve in the Islamic Republic, with prominent public figures coming out in support of the movement, including top Iranian actor Taraneh Alidoosti.
The country has been gripped by a wave of mass protests that were first ignited by Amini’s death and have since coalesced around a range of grievances with the regime. Authorities have unleashed a deadly crackdown on demonstrators, with reports of forced detentions and physical abuse being used to target the country’s Kurdish minority group.
In response to a reporter who asked if the country’s morality police was being disbanded, Montazeri was quoted by an Iranian state media outlet as saying, “Morality police have nothing to do with the judiciary. It was abolished from the same place it was launched. Of course, the judiciary will continue to monitor society’s behaviour.”