Iran: Four months in jail and 30 lashes for walking dog in streets

Tehran, 19 Feb.(AKI) – A 70-year-old man has been sentenced by an Iranian judge to four months in jail and 30 lashes for going out on the street with his dog.

The incident took place in Shahr Rey, a suburb of Tehran when the owner of the dog was caught by a police who quickly handcuffed the man. He was later charged by an Islamic judge for “disturbing the public order”.

The sentence, seems to want to panic the owners of dogs that despite repeated warnings by the police, continue to defy the authorities by taking their dogs outside their homes.

President Ahmadinejad recently provoked debate in Iran about dog ownership when he took possession of four guard dogs, bought in Germany at a cost of 110,000 euros each.

The dogs are at the centre of a theological controversy because Islam considers dogs to be impure.

For this reason, the government has banned owners of domestic animals from taking them on the streets of the city, and owners risk fines or the ‘detention’ of their animals in a pound.

“The purchase of these dogs was authorised by a fatwa issued by several ayatollahs who approved the use of these animals if the only goal was to guarantee personal security and not infringe on any religious rule,” said Iran’s semi-official news agency Fars.

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