Iran’s state media have highlighted the public backlash over the parading of young people, labeled ‘thugs’ by the authorities, on the streets.
“Parading thugs in the city, or as it is called the defamation of the thugs, started from the previous periods and was well received by the general public. But is something changes from the past times in the defamation of the thugs? Do the thugs becoming more aggressive and should we have different behavior with them?
“Whatever the answer should be, we should not forget the social media, and of course the mischief of some people who are trying to make a big deal about anything, and they criticize any move of the State Security Forces (NAJA) which is a sign of its power, and they put the police under a magnifying glass and play with public opinion,” wrote the state-run Mashreq News on October 14.
This paragraph is one of many examples by Iran’s state-run media about the latest act of Iranian police in the defamation of the thugs in parading them in the city, with the goal of creating a public fear, which shows clearly that this act of Iran’s government to scare the people and prevent any protests was not successful.
The authorities had thought that the act of the ‘defamation of the thugs’ would lead to ‘public order and public safety’, but this didn’t happen, and the government was faced with huge anger by the people.
However, “these people stared at the audience with their disgraceful eyes and sang arrogantly. With these lenient rules against thugs, when they are released, they take revenge on the observers and the plaintiffs a hundred times more.” (Mashreq News website, October 14)
Then suddenly in fear of the public anger, the police dodged and blamed the judiciary: “In this case, the police announce that I am a judicial officer, which of course is true. Police say they did so in accordance with a court order. If this is really true, the judicial authority that gave such an order must be held accountable.” (Mashreq News website, October 14)
In a hasty move, Iran’s Judiciary Chief Ebrahim Raisi retreated as the state-run daily Hamshahri Online on October 13, wrote: “In the recent thug defamation, Ayatollah Raisi, from the very first moment of his knowledge, instructed the Tehran prosecutor to deal with violators, including investigators or officers, in cases of violations of the law and violations of civil rights.
“While emphasizing the decisive and unreliable treatment with thugs, he considers that the verdict of defamation is only within the jurisdiction of the court and within the framework of laws and regulations, that attacking the accused, even thugs, is definitely not allowed.”
But the story is much more serious. The fury of the people so much that the state media from both of the factions were forced to confess about the goals of these actions.
State-run daily Mardom Salari wrote: “What is really the purpose of these actions? Is it the punishment of a criminal or intimidation of others? If the purpose is punishment, as experience has shown, such punishments are not deterrent. Such punishments belong to pre-modern governments.”
Even one of the most radicals government media belonging to the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC), the state-run Javan daily, protested against this action and wrote: “The film of parading thugs is not considered in the media and cyberspace as the defamation of the thugs, but it is handed over as an act of humiliation, and the police chief is speaking about this ‘breaking the neck’ with proud.
“It seems that ‘The principle of legality of crimes and punishments’, has no place in our legal system! Or that the police force has seen itself beyond the law, and it is questionable on what legal or jurisprudential basis the investigating judge or prosecutor in the prosecutor’s office issues the order to parade the thugs around.”
Iran experts say that this series of retreats by Iran’s entire governmental system is out of fear of the public’s fury.