Published: Thu, July 12, 2018
People | By Neil Grant

Girl Arrested In Iran For Posting Videos Of Herself Dancing On Instagram

Girl Arrested In Iran For Posting Videos Of Herself Dancing On Instagram

Since the news of Hojabri's arrest went viral, many other Iranian women have begun sharing their own videos and messages using the hashtag #dancing_isn't_a_crime as a mark of solidarity and protest.

Dancing in public is also forbidden.

Soon after Hojabri's reported detention, Iranian state TV Saturday showed a young woman, with her face blurred, crying and explaining her reasons for posting the video. Her performances attracted thousands of followers.

In a video released by the Iranian State TV on Friday, the teen is shown confessing to breaking "moral norms." .

Dancing is considered a sin in Iran according to article 638 of the Islamic Penal Code: "Anyone in public places and roads who openly commits a harām [sinful] act, in addition to the punishment provided for the act, shall be sentenced to two months' imprisonment or up to 74 lashes; and if they commit an act that is not punishable but violates public prudency, they shall only be sentenced to ten days to two months' imprisonment or up to 74 lashes".

Iranians are protesting and mocking clerical rulers on social media after the arrest of a teenage girl for posting videos of herself dancing on Instagram. Maedeh Hojabri now has more than 11,000 followers and had uploaded dozens clips in which she is dancing to Western and Iranian music. " I dance in a public park in Tehran to support Maedeh the 19-year-old girl who got arrested", wrote another supporter. Her videos have also appeared on various Instagram accounts dedicated to her, although they have not been verified. I did not want to encourage others to do the same ...

Iranian police have said they plan to shut down similar accounts on Instagram, and the judiciary is considering blocking access to the site. I didn't work with a team, I received no training.

"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", one social media user wrote according to the BBC. Videos similar to Hojabri's appear daily on social media accounts by women head banging to dubstep, ridden, or lip syncing the lyrics to their favorite songs.

Blogger Hossein Ronaghi commented on the situation, according to the BBC: "If you tell people anywhere in the world that 17 and 18-year-old girls are arrested for their dance, happiness and beauty on charges of spreading indecency, while child rapists and others are free, they will laugh!"

Instagram is the only widely used social media app that hasn't been banned in Iran. Just last month, a series of protests broke out in Tehran's Grand Bazaar over the collapse of the country's currency in recent months.

The Times quoted a hard-line analyst in Iran, Hamidreza Taraghi: "Instagram started out as an innocent tool, available on the internet, where people would upload photos and write some words".

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