my (brief) detention by iran\'s morality police

by:GF bags     2019-08-10
On my third day in Tehran last week, I was detained by Iran\'s notorious \"Ethics Police.
\"This volunteer group exists in almost every city and town, and they take policy on violations of Islamic values.
These guardians patrol parks, entertainment centers, shopping centers and cafes where young people gather.
My introduction to the ethics squad starts with shouts and threats and ends up with juice and a policewoman in black chador who is covered with bleached blonde hair and a comfortable red leather jacket
She leads women\'s detention centres on gender issues
Isolation Station. My three-
An hour\'s stay reveals these so-
Under Iran\'s strict code of conduct, the Islamic law enforcers and the younger generation are angry.
Iran\'s new president, Hassan Rouhani, said the moral police were \"at odds with our society\" and were supported by many Iranians.
Within a few months of his election, he banned them from arresting women because religious hardliners considered \"inappropriate dress.
However, it is still possible for women to be detained for being caught with a male \"acquaintance\" who is not a husband or close relative.
It was an offence to bring me to the station at sunset, when my translator Ahmed Salemi received a call from him at the age of 24 --year-old daughter.
She was arrested for drinking tea with her boyfriend in the city park.
When we drove around the city for an interview, her crazy phone call came.
After listening to her daughter\'s angry description of the standoff and detention, the professional translator suddenly became an anxious father.
Just a few hours ago, Salemi assured me that such things rarely happen now after Rouhani\'s election.
When he called the supervisor, he said, \"I just told an American journalist that the ethics police did not do this anymore.
\"The reply came soon.
\"Why are you telling her this?
There are volunteers in every country.
They are organized and specialized in Iran.
The person being executed is a volunteer.
Some people give up their wages to perform their religious duties as they see them, but their services also have valuable benefits, including giving priority to university places, bank loans and government work.
At the station, Salemi demanded the release of his daughter.
He argued that she had done nothing wrong.
I press the recording button on the recorder to record the conversation.
I know I was in trouble after my shoulder bag was slammed and then pushed in the detention center.
I presented my Iranian official press card, but an angry officer shouted, \"Give us your recorder or we\'ll call your embassy and let you go.
\"The standoff was because I was concerned about the interview recorded earlier in the day.
I want to protect my material from the fact that I suspect the entire recording will be deleted instead of searching for two
Talk a minute before the station.
When I held on to the tape recorder, I was taken to a small room with three detainees and a hard team --
A female officer dressed in black flowing chades.
All the women are sitting on the cross.
Walk on the carpet floor.
I got the only chair.
One of the young women speaks English.
She was born in Iran but her parents have moved to Australia.
She came back for the first time in more than a decade.
She went out for sightseeing with a cousin and stopped in the park to take pictures. Busted.
The other two were arrested with their boyfriend.
Debate between police and detainees comparison between detainees and chador
The men wearing female guards were notable.
Young women pushed every line of \"dress appropriately.
\"After decades of law enforcement, the ethics police have lost the war of makeup, skinny jeans, dark nail polish and unstable headscarves that reveal plenty of shiny hair.
As soon as I entered the room, the argument began.
\"We did nothing wrong!
Said the woman.
\"You have no right to harass us! \" they added.
This is the point of intense challenge, cobbled together by the body language, finger pointing and eye rolling of two young women sitting on the floor.
I had to explain their resistance because chador-
The dressed officer motioned to the woman from Australia that she should not tell me what was going on.
But there is no doubt that Rouhani\'s moral challenge to the police gave these young women a face license --to-face dissent.
After Salemi\'s daughter was released, he told me that the police were good people.
But he added, \"hardliners are giving them instructions to isolate them from the rest of society.
\"He explained to the officials in charge that it would not hurt to allow her daughter to meet her boyfriend in a public park.
He has allowed his daughter, who recently graduated from computer programming, to travel alone to Europe.
Salemi assured me that this is one of the reasons for the soaring divorce rate in Iran: Young people don\'t know each other before they get married.
After two hours of debate with the ethics police, Salemi\'s daughter was free to leave.
\"When I talk to them, I feel they are from another century,\" he said . \".
With the assistance of the chief female guard, my case was resolved.
We borrowed headphones from other detainees and I played her two-
I recorded the minutes in front of the station.
She looked at me and deleted it.
I can go now.
The male officer in charge came to say goodbye.
\"I hope you don\'t be unhappy,\" he said . \"
Then, to my surprise, he added, \"We wanted to buy you a gift, but the shops were all closed.
\"The detainees and the parents who asked for the release of their children reprimanded the officers.
It turns out that I am the most cooperative of these people.
Before I turned and walked out of the door, the policewoman in the big black refrigerator gave me a box of juice and a hug.
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