Iran arrests '64 half-naked youths' at pool party, and Zumba fitness dancers

Iran arrests '64 half-naked youths' at pool party, and Zumba fitness dancers
Iranian authorities have continued their clampdown on 'corrupting' influences in the country, following a raid on a pool party and six people accused of teaching Zumba.
2 min read
10 August, 2017
Alcohol is strictly forbidden in Iran [AFP-file photo]
Sixty-four "half-naked" Iranian youths have been arrested in central Iran in a raid on a pool party by the Revolutionary Guard and police, Tehran has said.

The youngsters were detained following a party in Isfahan, central Iran where they allegedly were found drinking alcohol and dancing, which are banned according to Iranian law.

The raid by local hardline Revolutionary Guards units and law enforcement officers came after a video from the party was allegedly published on social media.

Iranian state media said the film was shared online to "encourage decadence", where strict laws govern relations between mixed gender parties.

It comes as six Iranians were arrested for teaching Zumba, a South American fitness dance that is illegal in Iran.

The dance instructors were charged with "changing lifestyles" and "attracted boys and girls [to teach] them Western dances".

"The members of a network teaching and filming Western dances have been identified and arrested," Hamid Damghani from the Revolutionary Guards.

"They were arrested by the guards' intelligence forces while teaching and creating video clips... as they sought to change lifestyles and promote a lack of hijab."

In June, Iran's sports federation called for an official ban of Zumba, which was reportedly growing in popularity in the country.

"In light of activities like Zumba, dancing in any way is not legal (therefore) announce the prohibition of movements such as this," a letter from the sports federation to minstry of youth affairs read. 

"Please issue a regulation to ban some activities, such as Zumba, which include rhythmic motions and dance and are unlawful in any shape and title," state-run ISNA news agency reported at the time.

In 2014, six Iranians were sentenced to jail and lashes for making a video to Pharrel William's pop hit Happy, which saw some of the women without mandatary hijabs.

Earlier this year, an Iranian female bodybuilder was imprisoned for posting gym selfies showing her bare arms and biceps.

Iran has enforced strict moral laws since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, which includes the death penalty for adultery, drug abuse and "spreading corruption". Lesser crimes often result in fines, jail terms or lashes.