Iran cops use dog catching pole to arrest woman for being 'insulting'

Shocking moment Iranian cops use a dog catching pole to haul a woman into a police van after she was accused of being ‘insulting’

  • 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 video has sparked backlash for heavy-handed tactics after appearing online 

This is the moment a woman was violently arrested on the streets of Tehran using what appears to be a dog-catching pole. 

Video of the arrest posted online last week shows the woman being dragged by her hair while seemingly snared by the catch pole before being bundled into a van.

Colonel Morad Moradi, deputy of the Tehran police forces, confirmed the woman was arrested for being ‘insulting’ and said the footage is being investigated.

Iranian police in Tehran were filmed violently arresting a woman using what appears to be a dog-catching pole (circled above)

He told semi-official news agency ISNA that the woman was also being ‘aggressive’ towards officers before she was restrained.

Further charges have been brought by a ‘local businessman’, Moradi added, though declined to say what these are.

The woman was shown in the footage without a headscarf on – which is a crime in Iran – but Moradi denied this was the reason for her arrest.

He also declined to say whether the woman was injured, after the footage showed her being dragged by her hair and hitting her head on the van’s door.

It is not clear precisely where or when the footage was taken, though it was widely shared on social media by Masih Alinejad – an Iranian women’s rights campaigner based in the UK and US.

‘Today in Iran’, she wrote alongside the video. ‘Soon enough Taliban would do the same again to the women of Afghanistan. 

‘Taliban And Islamic Republic will never be really reformed.’

She then followed that up with a second tweet, after Moradi announced his investigation, calling promises of action against the officers a ‘big lie’.

‘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.’ 

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. 

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