Dozens arrested in yoga class raid in Iran

Mixed-gender sporting activities, including professional-level yoga teaching, are banned in Iran. (File/Shutterstock)
Updated 26 May 2019
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Dozens arrested in yoga class raid in Iran

  • Those arrested were taking part in a mixed-class yoga session
  • They were wearing “inappropriate outfits” and had “behaved inappropriately,” according to the local justice department

DUBAI: Thirty people were arrested at a private yoga session in the Iranian city of Gorgan, the BBC has reported.

Those arrested were taking part in a mixed-class yoga session, led by an instructor who didn’t have the appropriate license to run the class.

They were wearing “inappropriate outfits” and had “behaved inappropriately,” according to local justice department official Massoud Soleimani, without giving further details.

Soleimani said the residence was already being monitored for some time before the arrests.

Mixed-gender sporting activities, including professional-level yoga teaching, are banned in Iran.

The incident became a hot topic online with some Twitter users questioning Iran’s hardline policies.

“An establishment that finds even yoga harmful does not need the USS Abraham Lincoln warship to end its existence,” one Twitter user wrote.

In 2017, Iranian sports authorities banned Zumba and “any harmonious movement or body-shaking instruction,” as it contravenes “Islamic ideology.”

Despite the ban, there have been public gatherings of yoga fans in the country over the past years, according to BBC. 


Ethiopia’s capital to ban motorbikes in bid to curb crime spree

Updated 19 June 2019
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Ethiopia’s capital to ban motorbikes in bid to curb crime spree

  • Addis Ababa Mayor Takele Uma said motorbikes had been used in recent crimes and the city would prohibit them from July 7
  • Takele Uma said the Addis Ababa municipal administration will also impose a ban on trips by most freight vehicles in the city during daytime

ADDIS ABABA: Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa plans to ban motorcycles in the city from July in a bid to curb a spree of muggings and robberies, local authorities said on Wednesday.
Addis Ababa Mayor Takele Uma said motorbikes had been used in recent crimes and the city would prohibit them from July 7 though people using bikes for business may be exempt.
“Exceptions will be made to those conducting licensed businesses with motorcycles as well as those who use motorcycles as postal carriers and motorcycles affiliated to embassies,” the mayor told journalists.
Addis Ababa, a city of an estimated five million, is generally considered safe for residents and foreigners. But a growing number of violent crimes involving suspects on motorbikes or in cars has caused alarm.
The mayor said the proposed ban came after a study of criminal activities in the city found a significant number were carried out using motorcycles.
Takele said the Addis Ababa municipal administration will also impose a ban on trips by most freight vehicles in the city during daytime to alleviate traffic congestion in the capital.