By Azadeh Karimi
The Brigitte Bardot Foundation (FBB) has joined forces with animal rights activists in Iran in condemning the inhumane killing of homeless dogs by acid injection.
In a tweet, the Paris-based animal rights organization — founded by the former French actress and singer Brigitte Bardot in 1986 — said: “Show your support for the local animal rights activists in Iran by condemning the brutal killing of stray dogs through injections of acid in the heart. Denounce this horrible method by signing the petition at chng.it/KNKgXGnH. Also, lodge your protests at the Iranian Embassy in the country you live in.”
Domestic and foreign media have reported extensively on the cruel treatment of homeless dogs in Iran. The London-based Persian-language Manoto TV posted footage of an investigative report on its Twitter page showing the horrible conditions at an animal shelter in the city of Kahrizak in Tehran Province.
The campaign to end the inhumane slaughter of homeless dogs in Iran has so far collected more than 140,000 signatures (chng.it/KNKgXGnH).
Social media was flooded late last month with disturbing footage showing Tehran city contractors killing stray dogs by injecting them with poison or acid, the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) reported. The distressing images caused massive protests in front of the Tehran Municipality building.
The Law Enforcement Forces of the Islamic Republic tried to break up the protest and disperse the crowd. They also arrested several people whose whereabouts are as yet unknown. Domestic media have reported no information about those detained by the police and security forces.
“Demonstrators were mostly animal rights activists who had legitimate concerns,” Hamidreza Goudarzi, the deputy governor of Tehran Province in charge of security, told IRNA. “There were also some troublemakers in the crowd that security forces successfully identified. We believe the authorities will release others soon.”
“Police started its investigation immediately after the footage appeared on social media,” the Iranian Students News Agency reported on August 21, citing Tehran police chief Brigadier General Hossein Rahimi. “We discovered that these images were a few years old. We will soon arrest the person responsible for publishing these disturbing images which have upset the public. Animal safety and protection is part of the police’s job. We will deal with anyone who harms animals.”
“The killing of homeless dogs by acid injection caused public outrage in Tehran last week,” Khabar Online reported on August 26, citing Hassan Khalilabadi, a member of the Tehran City Council. “Animal centers in the south of Tehran continue to use the same method.”
“I don’t know how many people were arrested. We don’t interfere with the works of the police and the Judiciary,” Mr. Khalilabadi explained. “We have asked the police and the prosecutor’s office to release those arrested. People got upset and said things in the heat of the moment. I don’t approve of treating people like that. Police should not have interfered. They came to City hall to protest against wrongdoing.”
[Translated from Persian by Fardine Hamidi]