At two separate night parties held to celebrate an ancient Iranian tradition, 230 young boys and girls were rounded-up and detained in the capital city, Tehran.
Young people had gathered to celebrate Winter Solstice, Yalda (the birth of God of Light, Mithra), on December 21, the longest night of the year when the security forces stormed the mixed-gender parties.
Usually, in such cases the detainees are charged with what the Islamic officials call moral corruption.
The head of Tehran’s Morality Police of greater Tehran, Zolfaqar Barfar said Friday, December 22, “140 boys and girls were detained at a party held in a garden in Lavassan”.
In another party in Farmanieh neighborhood, according to Barfar “Several of the guests streamed the party live on Instagram, inviting others to join the revel”.
Furthermore, Zolfaghar Barfar said alcoholic beverages and psychotropic drugs were confiscated, while musicians and singers present at the parties were detained and taken to a prison along with their instruments.
Attacking and breaking up parties were quite rife after the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran, but it gradually died down.
However, in past two years, even family parties, including wedding and birthday parties have not been immune from police and security forces assaults.
As a rule, the judiciary describes the detainees as elements of corruption, prostitution, illegal sexual relations, Devil worshipping, perversion and alcohol drinking.
Earlier, the head of Baseej (the Organization for Mobilization of the Oppressed), a branch of Islamic Revolution Guardians Corps, General Gholam Hossein Gheybparvar had announced the formation of special “neighborhood patrols” set to redeploy in large cities all over Iran.
“We have plans to reduce the number of checkpoints and gradually replace them with neighborhood patrols”, Iranian Students News Agency, ISNA cited an IRGC commander as saying on November 15, in a press conference.
Meanwhile, in its Thursday edition, the reformist daily Etemad compared the new plan to the notorious Revolutionary Committees, renowned as “Komiteh”s in 1979 when the Islamic Republic was established in Iran.
Immediately after the Islamic Revolution, the Komitehs, pushing the regular police forces aside, were deployed in all major cities, erecting checkpoints wherever they wanted, inspecting and searching people, vehicles and arresting whoever they suspected of being anti-revolutionary.
“Of all the Government agencies created as a result of the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran, not one is more feared or detested than the Komiteh, or Committee, the national disciplinary patrol responsible for enforcing Islamic regulations on social behavior” reported the New York Times in 1990.
Now, apparently the most feared Komitehs are set to return.
The commander of Baseej has not explained the necessity and reason behind devising the new plan but, has maintained.
Reportedly, the newly formed units have already started patrolling neighborhoods in larger cities, including cities in provinces of Esfahan and Fars.
Meanwhile, chief of 110 “sohada” police station, Esma’il Afshari said on Thursday night that two 22-year old boys were arrested while busy drawing shapes and signs of Devil worshipping cults on a wall in his precinct.
“Under interrogation, the two admitted being attracted to Devil worshipping cults through social media”, Afshari maintained.
According the government’s official news agency, IRNA the two had tattooed images related to worshipping devil on their bodies. Furthermore, one of the detainees was wearing a shirt with a slogan on it, saying, “I do not believe in Man”.
The Supreme Leader, ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s remarks on “social harms” has apparently encouraged the judiciary and police to crack down on parties that they might interpret as deviant and immoral.