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. 


Philippines’ Duterte pestered again as gecko stalls speech

Updated 20 September 2019

Philippines’ Duterte pestered again as gecko stalls speech

  • In a previous speech lambasting the Catholic clergy, a fly kept buzzing around him and landed on his forehead
  • While attacking the political opposiion during an election campaign, a big cockroach crawled up his shoulder and down his shirt

MANILA: Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte just keeps getting bugged during his public speeches.
A noisy gecko was the latest wildlife contributor to an address by Duterte, interrupting the leader on Thursday evening just as he launched another tirade at human rights groups critical of his bloody war on drugs.
The reptile’s persistence caused laugher in the crowd of mostly soldiers, causing Duterte stop mid-sentence, turn to his left and pause for a while to see what the off-camera commotion was.
“You brought a gecko here?” he asked an official sitting behind him, drawing laughs.
Geckos are common across Southeast Asia. The small lizard-like reptiles are known for their ability to produce various loud sounds, from barks to chirps, to communicate or when threatened.
While activists accuse Duterte of cowing his opponents into silence, reptiles and insects have no qualms about pestering him during his often hours-long, televised addresses.
A big cockroach crawled up his shoulder and down his shirt during a speech in May when he was lambasting an opposition party ahead of a national election. He joked the cockroach was its supporter.
Two months later, a fly kept buzzing around him and landing on his forehead, just as he was berating his rivals in the Catholic clergy. He said in jest that the fly was acting on their orders.