Morality cops grab Thornlie woman

Morality cops grab Thornlie woman

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morality police
Mozghan is urging local residents to celebrate their freedom, with her home country of Iran in turmoil. Photograph – Aaron Van Rongen.

Iran has been in turmoil since the death in custody of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini on September 19, arrested and allegedly beaten by the Islamic regime’s morality police for wearing her hijab too loosely.

Incredibly, it’s a terrifying situation that one Thornlie resident can relate to, having been detained by the morality police, and she is urging her fellow Australians to celebrate their freedom.

Mozghan fled the Islamic regime in 2013, emigrating from Iran on a permanent residential visa with her husband, eventually settling down in WA.

“I’m very happy to have a chance to talk about this really,” she said.

“It has been 40 days since the death of Mahsa Amini.

“Inside and outside Iran, the Iranian community is very angry, very sad and protesting across the world.

“I came to Australia when I was 30, nine years ago, and I came out because I wasn’t happy with the situation as well, I was looking for freedom to live freely so I can enjoy my life.”

That freedom was nearly snatched from her when she returned to Iran to visit her sick mother in 2017 over nothing more than a quick trip to a pharmacy to pick up some medication.

It’s something Australians would do without a second though, but for Mozghan, it turned into a terrifying ordeal for reasons she can’t comprehend.

“It was winter, I had my thick scarf, I had my thick jacket and jeans.

“I went down to the pharmacy, and as I was getting to a taxi one of the morality police called out to me.

“I didn’t know he was calling to me, he had no reason, and I continued to walk towards the pharmacy.

“He ran up behind me to stop me, I was scared and panicked, I needed to get my mother that medication.”

Iran’s morality police enforce the country’s laws against immodesty and societal vices.

The country requires women to wear the headscarf in a way that completely covers their hair when in public and to wear loose robes.

Mozghan’s hair was inside her hijab, her body was not exposed, but still she was thrown into a van with six other women and taken to the police centre.

“I was crying because of my mother, because I couldn’t understand why I was treated like this.

“They told us to call our families to bring us loose clothes, otherwise they would detain us overnight, and we had to sign a document saying we would not do this again.

“It was trauma, it has been five years and I still remember, it was a terrible experience and it’s been happening for decades. “

Since Ms Amini’s death, there have been regular protests, with between 17 and 31 people killed and hundreds, if not thousands, injured in clashes with security forces.

Mozghan has family in Iran who are terrified for their children.

She has a simple message for the community.

“I have family members in Iran and they’re telling me the situation is not good, they can’t stop the younger generation from going out on the streets because the young people want freedom.

“Their parents are worried and they’re telling me I am so lucky that I am not there.

“I want to tell the local community to value your life. Value the place that your living, you’re free, you have freedom.

“Welcome people who come from this situation, Iranian or Afghani, don’t judge them. Show your respect and love because they have been through so much. Support your community and celebrate your freedom.”