Iran’s court rejects complaint over morality police physically attacking women

The complaint of two young women which they had filed against Iran’s Morality Police beating them for ‘Insufficient’ head covering was rejected, according to attorney Mohammad Hossein Aghasi who represented the women cited by the state-run IRNA news agency.

“The 9th Branch of the Prosecutor’s Office of the Armed Forces Judiciary Committee overturned the case, arguing that there was not sufficient evidence,” Aghasi said.

In a tweet posted on November 2, the attorney said that the Armed Forces Judiciary Committee rejected the complaints  despite the video of the incident going viral at the time.

“We had filed a complaint that a female officer had dealt blows the students and insulted them and requested that the Taleghani Park guard who was witness to the incident be present in the court as a witness but the prosecutor did not ask the guard to be present,” the lawyer said.

“He only listened to the testimonies of three other girls who were with my clients at the time and said that the testimonies were not the same,” he added.

A video from Iran showing a woman being violently attacked for her “insufficient” head covering by the country’s so-called morality police went viral on April 18.

The footage shows members of the special taskforce tackling two women and wrestling one of them to floor because her hijab was loose.

The latter is verbally cautioned, before a female police officer slaps her in the face and wrestles her to the floor. The young woman is heard screaming repeatedly: “Let me go, let me go.”

One of the young women suffered from a heart condition and went unconscious as a result of the beatings.

A crowd gathers around as the attack continues, and at one point a woman who does not appear to be part of the religious police is seen attempting to comfort the victim.

The footage shows one of the young women threatening the police with legal action, to which an officer can be heard responding: “You can’t do a damn thing.”

Within hours of the video going viral, Iran’s minister of interior, Abdolreza Rahmani-Fazil, ordered an inquiry, according to an official statement that called the incident “an unusual treatment of a woman at the hands of the morality police”.

The statement insinuated that the young woman had provoked the police by swearing at them when they asked her to respect the law. But it said the reaction of the police was also “unconventional”.

Massoumeh Ebtekar, Presidential deputy on Women and Family Affairs, denounced the treatment of the young woman on Twitter. “How could this treatment be justified?” she tweeted. “Even if they were insulted, should the police react like this? I categorically condemn this behaviour and will pursue the matter. This is a harsh and anti-religious treatment that no human deserves.”

But on April 20, Alam ol-Hoda, Khamenei’s representative in Mashhad, denounced those who had defended the women victimized in this incident, saying, “A wrongdoing by an officer or agent should not undermine the essence of this religious vice.”

On April 23, Sadegh Amoli Larijani, head of the Judiciary Branch, stressed in a speech on the need for the State Security forces to act within the frameworks of religion and law. He reiterated, “No one should be allowed to resist against law enforcement by the State Security Force or insult its officers. The SSF will not take even one step back,” according to the state-run ISNA news agency.

On the same day, Kayhan daily the mouthpiece of the regime’s Supreme Leader, called for praising the policewoman. “It is very logical that the policewoman involved in the incident be praised and encouraged by the Interior Minister and the SSF Commander.”

On April 30 Hossein Rahimi, Tehran’s Chief of Police, who was quoted by the state-run Fars news agency denied reports that the officer beating up the young women had been suspended. He declared, “We powerfully defend our agents.”

Alireza Rahimi, member of the parliamentary Committee on National Security and Foreign Policy, also tweeted on April 30 that the committee had held a meeting with SSF commanders where the Commander of the State Security Force, Hossein Ashtari, announced that the officer involved had been granted a plaque and honored at the SSF command headquarters only two days after the incident.

The IRGC-backed Fars news agency went to the aid of the State Security Force by claiming that the victims had deliberately incited the attack and the fact that they had a camera to shoot the film, proved that the incident had been planned for taking political advantage.

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