Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

IN THE PRESS

'A #MeToo leader made deal with her own accuser'

Read more

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

Indigenous peoples: Fighting discrimination

Read more

MIDDLE EAST MATTERS

From Turkey to Iran: (re)inventing kebab

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Paleontologist Kenneth Lacovara: ‘Dinosaurs were the last great champions’

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Alan Turing's nephew: ‘A Shakespearean tragedy surrounded his life’

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Zimbabwe: Chamisa's lawyers contest election results in court

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

New US sanctions on Iran: Trump ups pressure after exiting nuclear deal

Read more

IN THE PRESS

‘Space Farce’? Alternative logos for new US military branch flood social media

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Zambia accused of illegal handover of Zimbabwean opposition figure

Read more

Saudi women's fitness centre shut over 'vulgar' video

© AFP/File | Players from Jeddah United, Saudi Arabia's first women's basketball team train at their club in the coastal city of Jeddah on February 18, 2018

RIYADH (AFP) - 

Saudi sports authorities shut down a female fitness centre in Riyadh Friday over a contentious promotional video that appeared to show a woman in figure-hugging workout attire.

"We are not going to tolerate this," Saudi sports authority chief Turki al-Sheikh tweeted as he ordered that the centre's license be withdrawn.

Sheikh, an advisor to powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, also told authorities to investigate and prosecute those behind the video.

The video, which was widely circulated on social media but could not be independently verified by AFP, showed a woman with uncovered hair cavorting around what appeared to be a gym and kicking a punching bag.

The General Sports Authority said the video contained scenes that could corrupt public morals.

Women are required to wear body-shrouding abaya robes and cover their hair in public in parts of the ultra-conservative kingdom, which has some of the world's harshest restrictions on women.

Last July, police questioned a woman after she appeared in a series of videos, initially posted to Snapchat, wearing a crop top and a high-waisted miniskirt.

She had been filmed walking through the historic fort of Ushaiqer, north of Riyadh, and playing with sand in the dunes. She was later released without charge.

Saudi Arabia, in the midst of a far-reaching liberalisation drive, will allow women to drive from June and recently permitted them to enter sports stadiums for the first time.

The government is also seeking to jump-start women's sports and is moving toward compulsory physical education classes for girls, after a ban was lifted in 2014.

But the kingdom still requires women to seek permission from a male guardian -- usually a father, husband or brother -- to study, work or travel.

© 2018 AFP