Iran has disbanded its morality police, Mohammad Jafar Montazeri, the nation’s attorney general, confirmed on Saturday. This comes as the country has been embroiled in weeks of violent anti-government protests over the death of a young woman detained by the force.
Montazeri said that while the institution had been abolished, authorities will “continue to monitor behavioral actions at the community level.”
On Thursday, the attorney general stated that Iranian officials were reviewing whether they needed to change the law requiring women to cover their heads.
The morality police was established in 2005 to control how people comply with Islamic rules regarding their clothes and behavior. It was sanctioned by the EU, US and the UK over the death of a 22-year-old woman named Mahsa Amini, who was arrested over allegedly wearing an “improper” hijab and died hours later.
Iran has seen weeks of violent protests that erupted in mid-September over the death of Amini. While the Iranian authorities claim that she died of a pre-existing medical condition, her family insists she was beaten to death while in custody.
According to figures released by Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, the riots have claimed the lives of more than 200 people. Earlier this week, Brigadier General Amirali Hajizadeh, who serves with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps put the total death toll during the unrest at “more than 300 people.”
Iranian officials have accused foreign players, especially the US and Israel, of inciting violence and trying to destabilize the country.