Letter supporting the Natha Yoga School

On 12th June 2015, the Steering Committee of FOB sent a letter in support of the LAYMS’s campaign in favor of the Natha Yoga School.

The recipients are: Lena Nelskyla (journalist), the author of the article published in Helsingin Sanomat on 21.2.2015 “Helsinki got scared of yoga investigation”, Kaius Niemi, Paivi Antti Koski, Antero Mukka (Editors of the newspaper, which edited and published the article), Tarja Loikkanen (For City Hall sports department), regarding the ending of the co-operation between Helsinki City Liikuntavirasto and Yoga School Natha in relation with Natha Yoga project, due to media campaign.

Rome, 12th of June 2015

FOB (European Federation for Freedom of Belief) is a Federation whose membership consists of LAYMS, AIDLR (Associazione Internazionale Difesa Libertà Religiosa), Soteria International and CAPLC, and that as a stakeholder NGO is on the Official Register of Lobbies held at the EU Parliament and Commission in Bruxelles and Strasbourg representing six countries (Denmark, France, Italy, Romania, Spain, United Kingdom) since 8th December 2014.

FOB shares the deep concerns and the worries contained in the letter that LAYMS have drafted in respect of the case Natha Finland, and hereby reaffirms the basic fundamental human right of people to be considered presumed innocent and hence invites the relevant authorities thoroughly evaluate the many implications concerning freedom of religion and belief in the case of the above-mentioned Yoga group.

LAYMS refers to a discriminatory and defamatory campaign against Natha Finland and links the ‘special treatment’ reserved to such spiritual group to other similar campaigns carried out against other groups in Europe.
Groups like MISA Yoga in Romania and Ananda Assisi in Italy have been subjects of long trials and the accusations and allegations against them, have been used in a misleading way by the media and anti cult movements too that have utilised them for discriminatory, anti-democratic and dignity offending ends against the people involved in the trials. Afterwards all accusations have been found in courts to be completely inconsistent and irrilevant ones and cases concluded in favor of the members of such groups.

Such cases are telling and should not be repeated. In fact while Misa Yoga case in Romania ended totally in favor of the group, instead the investigations started in Italy, in 2012, by SAS (Anti Cults Squad), and very much advertised by the media, seem not to be concluded yet even though since long nobody knows anything about the SAS (Anti Cults Squad) activities.

FOB auspicates the relevant authorities take into account the above-mentioned cases; and reaffirms that it is important that the basic and fundamental human rights of Natha Finland be respected and that the accusations and allegations be duly scrutinised and evaluated in the courts instead of being once again a means used by media to discriminate against Yoga groups.

Board of Directors FOB (Freedom of Belief)
European Federation for Freedom Of Belief