Iranian Teenager Arrested After Posting Videos of Herself Dancing Without Hijab

Published July 9th, 2018 - 06:37 GMT
Maedeh Hojabri, 18, was arrested by Iranian authorities last week over videos posted on her social media accounts (Instagram)
Maedeh Hojabri, 18, was arrested by Iranian authorities last week over videos posted on her social media accounts (Instagram)

An Iranian teenager has been arrested for posting videos of herself dancing without a hijab on social media.

Maedeh Hojabri, 18, has more than 51,000 followers on her Instagram account where she posts clips of herself dancing to Iranian and Western music, along with selfies and snaps with her friends and family.

On Friday, Iranian state TV broadcast a video in which Ms Hojabri confessed to breaking 'moral norms' while insisting that was not her intention, and that she was only trying to gain more followers.

It is not known whether her public statement of admission was made under duress.

Shabooneh, a local news website, said Ms Hojabri and three other individuals were detained on similar charges in recent weeks before being released on bail.

Ms Hojabri had posted around 300 videos on her account, many of which showed her dancing in both Iranian and Western styles without wearing the obligatory hijab.

 

 

Her videos appears on various Instagram accounts attributed to her, however none have been verified.

In the wake of Ms Hojabri's arrest, many Iranian women have been posting their own videos of themselves dancing in support of the teenager, using hashtags such as #dancetofreedom and #dancing_isn’t_a_crime.

Iranian blogger and freedom of speech activist Hossein Ronaghi re-posted one of Ms Hojabri's videos on Twitter.

Captioning the video, he writes: 'If you tell people anywhere in the world that girls aged 17 and 18 are arrested because of their beauty, the joy of dance and accused of the crime of prostitution, and predators of children are free, they will laugh! Because it is not possible to believe it!'

Iranian police have said they plan to shut down similar accounts on Instagram, and the judiciary is considering blocking access to the site.

Iran has already blocked access to many social media sites, including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and the Telegram messaging app. Millions of Iranians continue to use the sites through proxies and VPNs.

Iran's judiciary and security forces are dominated by hard-liners who launch periodic crackdowns on behaviour deemed un-Islamic.

The latest arrests came amid a series of protests against the government's handling of the economy.

In 2014, authorities sentenced six young men and women to suspended sentences of one year imprisonment and 91 lashes after they appeared in a video dancing to Pharrell Williams' song 'Happy.'

 

This article has been adapted from its original source.


© Associated Newspapers Ltd.

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