Iran police have arrested dozens of “thugs” in the second part of a plan to increase public security. About twenty special force units have been stationed across Tehran in the new morality crackdown operation.
From 11 p.m. to 5 a.m., masked forces go to different neighborhoods across Tehran to arrest various people who have been previously identified, according to Ahmad Radan, head of the capital’s metropolitan police force.
The arrested “thugs” are sometimes beaten on camera in front of neighborhood inhabitants, or forced to wear hanging watering cans used for lavatory ablutions around their necks. According to Fars news agency, these individuals are then transported to detention centers of the security and intelligence police.
Tehran’s police chief, Ahmad Reza Radan, who is in charge of overseeing the operation, told reporters, “The police treat thugs with confidence and resolve.” Pictures taken by news agencies seem to confirm the police chief’s remarks, showing masked police officers beating suspects with batons, sticks and leashes.
The number of those arrested was estimated at around 52 on the first night, but the police refrained from releasing more numbers in subsequent nights. In the operation, which began last Tuesday and is ongoing, police stations across Tehran are cooperating with security and intelligence units to arrest thugs across Tehran’s various districts.
Tehran’s police chief notes, “We have had successful arrests, and I announce that our decisive confrontation will continue in Tehran until the very last thug.” Radan also commented about the processing and charging of the suspects: “The detained suspects will be kept, with no time limits, in police stations until the completion of preliminary rounds of investigations.” Radan also said that especial detention facilities have been set aside for this operation, “Specific places have been designated for keeping and investigating these individuals, even though the police have gathered enough information from its own research and from neighborhood reports prior to the arrests.”
The police’s new round of morality crackdown has drawn criticism for parading suspects in public and subjecting them to abuse. Iran’s attorney general is one such critic: “The principle of the police’s operation is commendable, but enough care must be taken so that no unlawful measures are taken. People will then cooperate with the operation.”