Shocking moment Iranian ‘morality cops’ use a dog-catcher’s pole to haul a woman into a police van ‘for failing to wear a veil’
- Video has emerged showing woman being violently arrested by police in Tehran
- Officers appear to use a dog-catching pole to help bundle the woman into a van
- Police chief said the woman was arrested for being ‘insulting and aggressive’
- But campaigner Masih Alinejad said she was actually arrested for being unveiled
This is the moment a woman was violently arrested in Iran using what appears to be a dog-catching pole for failing to wear a headscarf.
Video of the arrest posted online last week shows the woman being dragged by her hair through the streets of Tehran while seemingly snared by the catch pole, before being bundled into a ‘morality police’ van.
Masih Alinejad, a prominent Iranian women’s rights campaigner who uploaded the footage, said the woman was arrested for failing to wear a head covering – mandatory for women in the Islamic Republic.
She dismissed Tehran police deputy chief Colonel Morad Moradi who said the woman had actually been arrested for being ‘insulting and aggressive’, saying police often ‘make up other charges’ for women who breach morality laws.
Iranian police in Tehran were filmed violently arresting a woman using what appears to be a dog-catching pole (circled above)
‘Unveiled women [are accused] of prostitution or creating moral corruption,’ she said. ‘[Police] are worried about how these videos causing negative reactions.’
The footage, taken at an unknown location in Tehran, shows the woman – with her head exposed – being wrangled by security officers into the side of a van.
One female officer, who is fully veiled, can be seen grabbing the woman’s hair while another holds her arm and a third drags her using what appears to be a dog snare.
The woman is then bundled into the van, hitting her head against the roof in the process, before the door is shut and the vehicle moves away.
Moradi told semi-official news agency ISNA that the woman was being ‘aggressive’ towards officers before she was restrained, and said further charges had been brought by a local shop owner but refused to give details.
He also declined to say whether the woman was injured during the arrest, though pledged the footage would be investigated.
Ms Alinejad also dismissed those claims, suggesting it is a ‘big lie’ that officers will be held to account for using excessive violence.
‘Last time when morality police savagely beat women, police showed the same reaction,’ she said.
‘But as soon as the atmosphere calmed down, they prosecuted the woman who filmed it.’
Tehran’s deputy police chief confirmed the arrest after the footage went viral, saying the woman was being ‘insulting and aggressive’ while being taken away
Iran’s ‘morality police’ were established in the wake of the 1979 Islamic Revolution and tasked with enforcing strict social codes on the country’s civilians.
Their exact duties and powers have changed over the years, though they largest exist to enforce codes of dress and behaviour that violate the Islamic Republic’s interpretation of Islam.
They are often tasked with enforcing laws which state women must wear headscarves in public – a rule that has faced backlash in recent years.
Ms Alinejad has been a prominent voice in a campaign called ‘White Wednesdays’ which encourages women to remove their headscarves in public.
In 2019, Iran introduced 2,000 more morality officers to the streets specifically to tackle the campaign.
While women have commonly been employed as morality officers, the new recruits included rare all-female squads.