News : Human rights
- Published: Thursday, 06 November 2014
A group of Iranian lawmakers have introduced a bill to parliament calling for tougher punishments to those who sell, buy or walk pet dogs in public, including paying fines and flogging, the National Council of Resistance of Iran reported on its website.
The bill, presented by 32 parliament members, says dog owners should receive 74 lashes and pay a fine, claiming that the owning a dog as a pet harms Iran’s Islamic culture.
An excerpt of the bill translated in English reads that dogs are unwelcomed because of their “uncleanliness” and violators could be “arrested” if they are caught in public accompanying their pet.
Parts of the draft legislation read: “Anyone who takes a pet like a monkey or a dog in public and damages the Islamic culture or the health and tranquility of the people - particularly children and women, or attempts to buy or sell them, or keep them at their house, and not to act on the warnings issued by State Security Forces (police), would be fined between 10 to 100 million rials or would receive 74 lashes, plus the pet would be confiscated.”
Detained pets would be “transferred to a zoo or desert,” the bill added, and expenses of the transfer and keeping of the pet.
The law will however exempt police officers, farm owners, sheep herders and fishermen.
Dog ownership had been frowned upon over the past years from authorities who criminalize its owners and deem it as an imitation of Western culture.
Animal supporters regard the rule as a crackdown on youth and an attempt to suppress freedoms in the conservative country.
The National Council of Resistance of Iran said on its website: “The sporadic and politically motivated campaigns against dog ownership are aimed at further suppressing the youth and women in Iran who have, in past few weeks, held protests against the acid attacks on women that have been carried out by state-sponsored gangs.”