Iranian teen arrested for dancing videos

Lester Mason
July 12, 2018

Her account has since been suspended.

"But they have no problem giving money to an ayatollah regime that imprisons an 18-year-old who danced without a headscarf".

Forcing a teenage girl to confess on state TV for the "crime" of posting a video of herself dancing on Instagram represents a blatant violation of freedom of expression and demonstrates the extent to which the authorities are brutally imposing their cultural dictates on the people of Iran.

The tussle over social codes is nothing new in Iran.

According to the Associated Press, Iranian authorities are considering blocking access to Instagram, but no final decision has been made. "Let people be. Let's not infringe on their privacy, people's private lives belong to them", he told a crowd at a 2018 celebration of the country's Islamic revolution.

Authorities in Iran arrested four girls and women last week for posting videos of themselves dancing on Instagram.

"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", said one supporter in a tweet translated by BBC. Her videos have also appeared on various Instagram accounts dedicated to her, although they have not been verified. I did not have any intention to encourage others doing the same ... "I did not work with a network", a crying Hojabri told TV on Friday. "I only do gymnastics".

Three other women who, like Hojabri, built a following on Instagram with their dance videos, have been taken into custody, according to the Asr-Iran news website. Iranian authorities are also now surveilling "Instagram celebrities" who may be facing arrest, according to the New York Times. As in Hojabri's case, Iranian TV did not show the faces of the individuals making the confessions.

Nineteen-year-old Hojrabi isn't the only one who was arrested and sentenced to prison; many other users of the app who have been pushing potentially "seditious" and "blasphemous" content, were called in for questioning.

The arrests at the time highlighted the divides in the country's leadership.

The judiciary's enforcement of Iran's conservative laws comes amid a growing economic crisis and continued political pressure from the global community.

With an increasing number of protests taking place across Iran amid economic woes, conservatives have adopted a more repressive approach in recent months. And Iranian president Hassan Rouhani recently declared that the country should move toward a more free society. In April this year, an official in the city of Mashhad was detained after footage surfaced which showed a crowd of men and women dancing at a mall. "#MaedehHojabri's crime was she uploaded her dance videos on Instagram".

The group was later charged over seeking to "change lifestyles and promote a lack of hijab", a reference to head coverings for women.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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