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‘Islamic Guidance’ Patrol Beats up Young Woman in Park

A video made public on social media, in recent days, shows the appalling Guidance Patroltreatment of women in the Islamic Republic of Iran during the enforcement of compulsory hejab. The video shows a group of men and women ‘Islamic Guidance’ Patrol approach a few young women in a Tehran park. As they resist the Guards a verbal altercation starts and a female guards starts beating up one of the young women. Her friends try to free her. Crying and screams of the girls is heard remonstrating with the Guards. At the end of the video one of the young women is seen collapsed on the ground with one of her friends saying that she is having problems with her heart. There is no further information about the fate of the girls.
Since coming to power, the Islamic Republic has restricted freedoms of dress, food, social gatherings and other everyday aspects of people’s life. In recent months, resistance against forced hejab has escalated in Iran. This latest incident has caused such repugnance among those who have seen the video that some in official positions have started questioning the wisdom of the function of the patrols and the way they enforce their laws. Some of the statements are cited below.
Abdollah Rahmani Fazli, the Minister of Interior, has asked for a report on the event. In recent days he had warned that women who do not observe the hejab in their vehicles will be dealt with appropriately and that their transgressions must be explained to them and they should be treated according to the law.
The speaker for Law enforcement expressed regret over the video and said, police do not approve of such behaviour, and that initial investigations point to an incident that occurred in one of Tehran’s parks and that the published video is only one section of the total event, and currently Tehran’s police are investigating the event and will announce the result in due course.
Parvaneh Maafi, member of Parliament tweeted: “With the publication of the film of police beating a girl, it is time that the Head of Police answers the question: what positive impact has the formation of the Moral Security Police had on safeguarding the moral security of the society. Together with my colleagues in the Women and Family committee of the Parliament, I will follow the developments until the punishment of those responsible.”
Shahindokht Molaverdi, the Deputy of the president, Hassan Rouhani, tweeted: “The publication of the video showing the actions of women law enforcement personnel against poor hejab and their method of ‘guidance’ has demonstrated more than ever the importance of changing the approach of cultural bodies and law enforcement from “must” to “conviction” and from “propaganda” to “establishment”, from “appearance” to “substance” and from “strategic action” to “effective action”, and it has reminded us of the elements that were integral to the cultural plan of the 11th government. I thank the Minister of Interior for his prompt response and I strongly believe that in the age of new means of communication we need new strategies’.
Ma’sumeh Ebtekar, the Deputy of the president, wrote in her twitter account: “…What justification is there for this behaviour? What is the remit of law enforcement officers, even when they have been insulted? I strongly condemn this behaviour and will follow the outcome. This violent and irreligious behaviour is not befitting of any human being”.
None of the officials have acknowledged the oppressive nature of compulsory hejab. The inhumane treatment of girls and women is an integral part of the approach of the Islamic Republic towards women. For years the women of Iran have had to face violence and oppression at the hands of the state officials, in universities, hospitals, cultural venues such as theatre and concert halls. It is only now that smart phones give people the chance to record and share their experiences that we see a reaction from some officials. The experience of previous similar attacks on innocent people does not leave much optimism for anyone being brought to justice. During the anti-hejab protests by individual young women across the country, the arresting police threw Mariam Shariatmadari down from the platform on which she was standing in protest. Even in cases of major crimes such as embezzlement, rape of children, and acid attacks, we have seen the perpetrators given light sentences or let off completely.

Link to the video:

(Excerpts cited from HRNA, and Zamaneh)
MaZanan 22.04.2018

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