Saudi Arabia Shuts Down Women's Fitness Center Over Promotional Workout Video

Lucy Bush
April 24, 2018

According to the Saudi Press Agency, SPA, security forces spotted an unauthorised small recreational drone flying over the city's Khuzama district at 19:50 pm on Saturday and "dealt with it according to orders and instructions in this regard".

The President of the General Sports Authority, Turki al-Sheikh, who ordered the suspension of the center's license and the opening of an investigation, said the video contained scenes that could corrupt public morals, adding in a Twitter post that Saudi authorities "will not tolerate this".

Government officials did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the whereabouts of the Saudi king and crown prince during the incident.

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The Saudis put out the statement from the Riyadh police after a flurry of unconfirmed rumors spread on social media of clashes and gunfire near the royal palace and a possible coup.

A senior Saudi official told Reuters there were no casualties when the drone was shot down and that King Salman was not in the palace at the time.

"The king was at his farm in Diriya", the official said, naming another area of the capital.

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He said he tried to enter the shelter but was overcome by a strong smell of chlorine and his comrades pulled him out. He spoke of the "outrage by images we've seen of children, women who died of a chlorine attack".

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al Jubeir has repeated this offer to the United States with the hope that this time Washington will take it more seriously.

Most of the detainees have been released after reaching settlements with the government.

As local and worldwide media celebrated the opening of Saudi Arabia's first ever cinema, the Kingdom carried out the 47th execution of 2018 by beheading. Space for criticism has also narrowed in recent months following the arrests of prominent clerics and activists in an apparent bid to silence dissent.

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