Thirteen boys and girls accused of carrying signs and emblems attributed to Satanism and worshiping the Devil have been arrested in a restaurant in Tehran, local news websites reported on Saturday, October 21.
Several Iranian news agencies, including Fars, run by the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, cited Tehran Police force, as announcing, “Officers of Precinct 109...received a report on girls and boys, with tendency to worship the Devil, gathered at a restaurant in a street in Tehran’s 12th district”.
Based on the same reports, “Police stormed the restaurant and arrested the youth while they were carrying signs and emblems of Devil worshiping”.
However, the police have not elaborated on the exact meaning of Satanism or ‘worshiping the Devil’.
In previous similar cases, the police had used the term for describing heavy metal music fans in Iran.
In Iran, heavy metal, a subdivision of Rock music, is a medium for criticizing political procedures and social relations by using symbols and lyrics pertaining to protest.
Arresting youth accused of Satanism and worshiping the Devil is not unprecedented.
On Tuesday, October 17, the commander of Iranian Prevention Police, Reza Bastoo reported that two 25-year-old youth, accused of selling “Devil worshiping devices” including “garments and long colorful boots, as well as bandanas and printed bracelets”, have been arrested.
“The two culprits confessed that they used to make thirty million rials (nearly $880) profit each day through selling products related to Satanism and worshiping the devil”, commander Bastoo maintained.
In past two years, reports on police storming youth gatherings and parties, and arresting them has significantly increased.
Reportedly, police senitivity is a response to the Supreme Leader’s call for fighting against what he has described as “social harms”.
In most cases, police have accused the detainees of “drinking alcoholic beverages”, hosting “mixed-gender parties” and having “illegal sex affairs”.
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, perversion and alcohol drinking.
A dual American-Iranian citizen and his wife have been sentenced to death by an Iranian court after being convicted of establishing a “cult” and “holding mixed parties” that involved serving alcohol, the Financial Times reported on March 13, 2017.