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  • Swiss Muslim girls must learn to swim with boys, court rules

    Swiss Muslim girls must learn to swim with boys, court rules

    File photo: Students swim across the pool during a training session, Singapore, 2006Image copyrightGETTY IMAGESImage captionThe court ruled Switzerland was justified in enforcing the "full school curriculum"

    Switzerland has won a case at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) obliging Muslim parents to send their children to mixed swimming lessons.

    It said authorities were justified in giving precedence to enforcing "the full school curriculum" and the children's "successful integration" into society.

    The ECHR acknowledged that religious freedom was being interfered with.

    But judges said it did not amount to a violation.

    The case was brought by two Swiss nationals, of Turkish origin, who refused to send their teenage daughters to the compulsory mixed lessons in the city of Basel.

    Education officials, however, said that exemptions were available only for girls who had reached the age of puberty - which the girls had not reached at the time.

    In 2010, after a long-running dispute, the parents were ordered to pay a combined fine of 1,400 Swiss Francs ($1,380, £1,136) "for acting in breach of their parental duty".

    They argued that such treatment was a violation of article nine of the European Convention on Human Rights, which covers the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion.

    The chamber of the ECHR is seen in this file photo, with the European flag on the floor and seat for the panel in a circle around itImage copyrightGETTY IMAGESImage captionThe controversial case was decided on at the European Court of Human Rights

    In a statement, the ECHR said the refusal to exempt the girls had interfered with the right to freedom of religion.

    But it also said the law involved was designed to "protect foreign pupils from any form of social exclusion" and Switzerland was free to design its education system according to its own needs and traditions.

    Schools, it said, played an important role in social integration, and exemptions from some lessons are "justified only in very exceptional circumstances".

    Swimming, burkinis, and integration

    • In 2016, officials in Basel suspended the citizenship process for the family of two teenage Muslim brothers who refused to shake hands with female teachers.
    • Switzerland has also applied the law to other cases - a man of Bosnian origin was fined last year for refusing to allow his daughter to take part in swimming lessons during school hours, among other activities.
    • Germany also battled with the issue of mixed swimming lessons in 2013, when a judge ruled that a 13-year-old girl must attend - but allowed the wearing of a burkini.
    • In France, in 2009, a woman was banned from swimming in a public pool in her burkini. That would be followed in 2016 by a controversial official ban on the garment in public spaces - which was eventually overturned by French courts.
    • France, Belgium, and the Netherlands all have bans on Muslim veils in public, to varying degrees.
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  • Paul Pogba wishes Eid Mubarak to social media followers by posting picture in jelebiya

    Paul Pogba wishes Eid Mubarak to social media followers by posting picture in jelebiya


    Paul Pogba has wished his social media followers a happy Eid Mubarak.

    Morethan 1.6 Billion muslims are celebrating Eid Ul-Adha today and Manchester Unitedmidfielder Pogba has wished them well.

    Posting a picture of himself in traditional attire, Pogba wrote on Twitter and Instagram: "Eid Mubarak".

    He also included an emoji representing praying hands.

    In the image, Pogba is seen wearing traditional Muslim clothing - a long jubba or thobe and a keffiyeh on his head secured with the traditional agal.

    Pogba's Instagram upload was favourited 450,000 times in the first four hours following its upload.

    Many football clubs also joined Pogba by posting their well wishes for the Islamic holiday on their official pages.

    Pogba will return to training with United this week after the disappointment of the derby day defeat at the hands of Manchester City.

    A number of United players underperformed, including Pogba, who refused to speak to the media afterwards.

    The Frenchman however did take to social media on Sunday to give fans an update



    Pogba wrote: "The season is just starting, we don't lose, we learn. United we stand."

    Boss Jose Mourinho agreed a number of players were below-par against Man City .

    He said: "I'm clearly disappointed with the the first-half. Disappointed with some really poor individual performances that affected the level of the team.

    "It was not just about them [Mkhitaryan and Lingard, who were subbed at half time].

    "Other players were also not playing really well and obviously, as well as my decision, I don't like to go in the direction of singling out players.

    "Let's say our team didn't play well in the first-half and their responsibilities are my responsibilities."

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  • Iran billionaire sentenced to death for corruption after sanctions-busting for previous regime

    Iran billionaire sentenced to death for corruption after sanctions-busting for previous regime

    Babak Zanjani was accused of pocketing billions of dollars of oil revenues during Mahmoud

    Ahmadinejad's presidency 


    One of Iran's richest men has been sentenced to death for corruption after being accused of making billions by sanctions-busting for a previous regime.

    Babak Zanjani, who once claimed to possess a personal fortune of £9.5 billion, was arrested in Tehran in December 2013 - four months after his ally, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, left office as president.

    Zanjani, 44, has now been convicted of "fraud" and "economic crimes" and sentenced to be hanged, said a spokesman for the judiciary. The businessman has also been ordered to repay "one fourth of the money that was laundered".

    Zanjani was first arrested one day after Hassan Rouhani, the Iranian president, promised to target "privileged figures" who had "taken advantage of economic sanctions". His downfall is another sign that Mr Rouhani is trying to dismantle Mr Ahmadinejad's legacy and purge associates of the former president.

    Zanjani was almost unknown until December 2012 when his name appeared on a European Union sanctions list. He was accused of being a "key facilitator for Iranian oil deals and transferring oil-related money"



    Zanjani was then owner and chief executive of Sorinet Group, a Dubai-based conglomerate. The EU said that "some of its companies are used by Zanjani to channel oil-related payments".

    During this period, Iran was subjected to an EU oil embargo and crippling financial sanctions. The countries which still bought oil from Iran often had no legal way of paying for shipments.

    Western governments believed that Zanjani was arranging to sell Iranian oil and then channelling the payments back to Tehran via the web of companies in Sorinet Group, in breach of financial sanctions.

    This would not have been an offence in Iran, but the authorities suspected that Zanjani was making handsome profits by keeping a large slice of the money. When he stood trial last year, he was accused of retaining $2.7 billion (£1.7 billion) of revenues that should have been paid to the oil ministry.

    For as long as Mr Ahmadinejad was in office, Zanjani appeared to be safe and the government unwilling to probe his affairs. Once the presidency transferred to Mr Rouhani, however, the situation changed.

    Zanjani has always protested his innocence, portraying himself as nothing more than a successful businessman. During a rare BBC interview in 2013, Zanjani said that he was "proud of working as a businessman for the Islamic Republic of Iran", adding: "I don't do anything political, I just do business."

    In January, Iran was relieved of the toughest international sanctions, including the EU oil embargo, after the country scaled back its nuclear programme in accordance with last year's agreement.

    Mr Rouhani and his ministers have spoken publicly about the corruption that flourished during the era when Mr Ahmadinejad was in office - and sanctions were at their tightest.

    Last October, Bijan Zanganeh, the new Iranian oil minister, delivered a blistering public attack on middlemen in oil deals. In a speech that coincided with Zanjani's trial, the minister said: "We despise the corrupt parasites that want to suck the nation's blood even in this situation."

    Mr Zanganeh added: "I recommend to foreign companies to stay away from these corrupt individuals. They will tell you that until you give us our commission you can't get your work done. Don't believe them."

    source;- http://www.telegraph.co.uk

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