A video showing a cleric in Iran assaulting and beating an elderly woman in a property dispute has gone viral on social media, prompting officials to respond.
Local judicial authorities have announced that the clergyman's case will be referred to the provincial court for clerics. However, they also tried to emphasize that the incident resulted from a family dispute over property.
The sharing of such videos on social media is a sensitive issue for Iran's clerical regime, as many Iranians resent the power the clergy have wielded in the past 44 years since the establishment of the Islamic Republic. In recent protests since last September, there have been numerous instances of young people verbally assaulting clerics or expressing their dissatisfaction with them. In many instances young people filmed how they tossed the turban of clerics in the streets.
A judicial official in Gilan Province, where the incident occurred, has threatened to pursue those who filmed the cleric attacking the woman and promised to prosecute them.
The measures or punishment that the clerical court will decide upon are not clear, as proceedings in these courts are kept secret. Clerical courts operate independently of the Judiciary administration and function outside the legal framework.
In addition to this, another scandal that emerged earlier in the week is still causing reverberations among Iranians. A video surfaced showing an official and staunch regime loyalist responsible for enforcing hijab regulations, engaging in a sexual act with a young man. He has been fired from his job, and authorities state that he is under investigation.