Friday, June 2, 2023

Enforcers of morality laws on motorbikes need permission to hit the streets

An official at Tehran governor’s office says the government not individuals should enforce the laws.

On August 24, Aftab-e Yazd Newspaper quoted Tehran Lieutenant Governor for Sociopolitical Affairs Seyyed Shahabeddin Chavoshi as saying that no one is above the law and all those who live in the Islamic Republic should abide by rules and regulations. Here is the translation of the report the daily ran:

In response to a question on applications for rallies and gatherings in Tehran Province, Chavoshi said over the past 12 months the governor’s office has received 67 such applications, out of which only two that lacked solid justification have been rejected. “It was unclear who was actually going to organize those two events.”

As for a gathering near Fatemi Street [where the Interior Ministry is located] in support of stricter measures to enforce the Islamic dress code, he said, “Social issues such as failure to comply with the Islamic dress code is not the concern of only a few hundred people. We wanted the event to be organized through the Islamic Propagation Coordination Council, but some opted to reject our suggestion.”

over the past 12 months the governor’s office has received 67 such applications, out of which only two that lacked solid justification have been rejected.

He further said, “The cultural and intellectual beliefs of a society should not be spent as political capital by certain groups,” adding one needs to go through proper channels to secure permission for legal gatherings and regulations should be respected by organizers.

Chavoshi went on to say that the Interior Ministry and the Governor’s Office do not take political questions into consideration in granting permission for legal assemblies.

In answer to a question as to whether permission has been issued for petitions by some hardliners to the government to allow unofficial enforcers of morality laws to hit the streets on motorbikes, he said that compliance with law is important and that during the past year the government has managed to contain those who seek to take the implementation of law into their own hands. “Although such defiant behavior still persists, these groups can never bypass the laws.”

He added: “When it comes to implementation of laws, those who feel more responsibility toward society need to secure the government permission to get involved. After all, verbal promotion of virtue and prevention of vice is everyone’s responsibility. But actual enforcement of this Islamic principle falls within the jurisdiction of the government.”

The Lieutenant Governor of Tehran Province stated, “We do not believe in gender-based segregation, but we support the security of women and families at large. We also believe that if there is any such plan it should be implemented only after the consent of women is secured.”

In conclusion, he said, “The proposed gender-based separation of female staff [a reference to plans at Tehran Municipality to separate the workplace of women from that of men] which is tantamount to more respect for women is nothing new and has been in place in government offices for years. It is in effect in the governor’s office too and has been avoided only in areas it has proved impractical. Minimizing contacts between male and female staff is a good thing to do.” […]

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