Iranian teenager arrested over Instagram video, women dance on streets to protest

10 July, 2018, 03:01 | Author: Wade Massey
  • Maedeh Hojabri of Iran dances in a video uploaded to social media. She was detained by Iranian authorities over the videos

A Twitter user wrote, "I'm dancing so that they [the authorities] see and know that they can not take away our happiness and hope by arresting teenagers and (girls like) Maedeh".

According to AP, it was unclear whether her statement was made under duress.

Maedeh Hojabri would be an ordinary teenager just about anywhere in the world.

Hojabri had uploaded around 300 videos to her account, in which she can be seen dancing in both Iranian and Western styles, without the compulsory hijab. I did not want to encourage others to do the same.

Hojabri, who reportedly has often spoken about gymnastics and parkour in her videos, was not wearing a hijab in the videos that got her into trouble, which is required by law for women in the authoritarian country.

Iranians are posting videos of themselves dancing on social media to protest the arrest of a teenager whose seductive dance moves on Instagram landed her in police custody. She was one of several people recently detained on similar charges before being released on bail, the Associated Press reports. "I'm dancing for liberty and joy, which are your right", said one middle-aged woman who posted a video of herself dancing in her living room.

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"In April, the judiciary arrested a senior Iranian official after a video posted online that showed young boys and girls dancing in public in the northeastern holy Shi'ite city of Mashhad for undermining public decency".

The teenage gymnast reassured authorities that it was not her intention to do so.

Hojabri and an unknown number of other social media users were arrested at an unknown date.

Blogger Hossein Ronaghi said, "People would laugh at you if you tell anyone in the world that [in Iran] they arrest 17-year-olds and 18-year-olds for dancing, being happy and being attractive, for spreading indecency, and instead paedophiles are free".

With mostly all voices were in support with Hojabri, it also brought back to light discussions on the Iranian authorities oppressing womens dress codes and behaviour in public, under the cover of religion or Islamic Sharia law. "Because for them, it's unbelievable!" Iran, which has a hardline policy on social networking websites, is planning to shut down similar accounts on Instagram, and the judiciary is considering blocking access to the site. The state banned the popular Telegram messaging app in May 2018 and Facebook and Twitter in 2009.

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