Cartoon by Shahrokh Heidari

Iranian Minister Defends Violent Arrest by Morality Police

Iran International: Iran's Interior Minister Ahmad Vahidi has defended the country’s morality police after a new video emerged of officers violently arresting a woman on the street.

Vahidi argued on Wednesday that the police acted correctly because the woman who was warned: “resisted and stripped herself.” “The officers have acted according to the regulations.”

In the video, the female agents try to drag a woman who does not seem to be wearing a headscarf into a van and are seen throwing a blanket over her as they bundle her into the vehicle.

In an attempt to force her into the police car, they pull her shirt off while she resists, yanking it off with force, in echoes of the death in custody of Mahsa Amini, arrested for not wearing her hijab properly and the trigger for the ongoing uprising.

On Wednesday, Mohsen Borhani, a professor of criminal law at Tehran University, wrote on X: “Whether unfortunate or fortunate, we are not blind. We can differentiate between "being undressed by yourself," "being undressed by someone else," and "being undressed during a conflict." Make the uncut film available for everyone to watch and judge. Also, legally, you cannot prevent people from filming.”

Tehran police on Thursday defected the blame, claiming the woman threw a "cup of hot coffee" at the officers, leading to her violent arrest and blanket smothering.

The police released a video along with their statement claiming that she confessed. The video shows that the woman refused to wear a headscarf even after being arrested.

On Thursday, Ex-MP Ahmad Alirezabeigi criticized the police, saying the “force's resources should be spent on issues that provide the greatest possibility for peace and comfort. In policy-making, the issue of hijab is given priority, not the public's demand. People suffer from economic problems such as inflation, high prices, unemployment, and the frustration of the young generation."

The incident is one in a long line as conditions for women worsen since last month’s new Noor regulations enforced tougher hijab crackdowns, surveillance and more police patrols.

Just days ago, a video surfaced on social media showing a regime's hijab enforcement police officer beating and violently arresting a woman. During the assault, a woman whose face is not visible says, "Let go of me... you've broken my neck."

In addition to 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, the violent crackdowns have seen the death of Armita Geravand, 16, who fell into a coma and later died after an altercation with hijab enforcers in the Tehran subway in October. Reports suggest a female agent pushed her, but details of the incident remain unclear as the regime continues to cover its responsibility.

Iran's crackdown on hijab and oppression of women was branded 'gender apartheid' by the UN, and women's rights groups continue to fight for their rights in a country where laws are being toughened against women and girls as the regime fights for its legitimacy.