Iran: New Law Proposes 74 Lashes for Dog Owners

New Iranian Law Proposes 74 Lashes for Dog Owners

Sun, November 9, 2014 Clarion Project

An Iranian woman stands in front of a bank as she holds a dog in Tehran. The entrance of dogs and other pets into governmental buildings is prohibited in Iran.(Photo: © Reuters)

An Iranian woman stands in front of a bank as she holds a dog in Tehran. The entrance of dogs and other pets into governmental buildings is prohibited in Iran.(Photo: © Reuters)

A new law proposed in Iran would make walking, owning or selling a dog a crime punishable by 74 lashes and a fine of 10 to 100 million rials ($370 to $3,700). Violators could also be arrested.

Although the bill was proposed by 32 hardline MPs, many of 290 members of Iran’s Majles (parliament) are conservatives who sympathize with the hardliners.

The target of the bill appears to be young people as well as wealthy Iranians who are drawn to imitate Western culture. Even though coming into contact with dogs (especially the mucous membranes) is considered najis (unclean) in Islamic law, dogs are kept as pets by some Iranians.  Most owners keep their dogs inside, but some – from the more affluent neighborhoods – can be seen walking their dogs outside, raising the ire of the Iranian morality police.

The legislation, reported in the reformist newspaper Shargh, reads in part, “Anyone who takes a pet like a monkey or a dog in public … damages the Islamic culture.” The legislation also warned that such animals damage “the health and tranquility of the people – particularly children and women.”

According to the new legislation, the animals would be confiscated and sent to a zoo, forest or desert. Dogs used by police, hunters, shepherds, farmers and fishermen are exempt from the legislation.

A similar bill was introduced to the parliament three years ago, but was dropped by MPs after concluded that more important laws were on their agenda.

However, Iranian morality police currently stop dog owners and either warn them or confiscate their animals.General Esmail Ahmadi Moghaddam said two years ago that his force would “deal w tithhose w Iran’s police chief ho carry dogs in public.”

Categories: Asia, Iran

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