Iranian teen arrested for posting dance videos on Instagram

12 Juillet, 2018, 14:26 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • In the broadcast footage the woman identified as Maedeh Hojabri breaks down in tears before admitting that

A young Iranian woman now faces charges by the government for the content of her Instagram videos.

After their arrest, Iranian state TV had shown a similar video in which the group confessed to voluntarily filming the "Happy" dance video.

Hojabri had been dancing in a public forum, which is frowned upon in conservative Iranian circles, and doing so without the headscarf prescribed by Iran's clerical rulers.

"It wasn't for attracting attention", she said.

Iran's state television on Friday telecasted a video of Hojabri and other arrested persons confessing to breaking moral norms.

Hojabri's account has been blocked but her videos have spread to other accounts and been reposted by activists protesting her detention.

Now only one woman has been publicly named, a 17-year-old gymnast named Maedeh Hojabri.

The teenager, Maedeh Hojabri, was arrested after she posted hundreds of videos on Instagram, in which she danced to Persian pop songs. " I dance in a public park in Tehran to support Maedeh the 19-year-old girl who got arrested", wrote another supporter.

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Iranian law prohibits public dancing even as the use of headscarf in public is mandatory for women. Sharing her own dancing clip, @Marun_1 said:"usually I don't share pictures and videos but today is an important day".

"It wasn't incitement, I didn't want to encourage anyone, I didn't have an objective", she said.

"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. "I only do gymnastics", she continued. Also, several hashtags like #dancing_isn't_a_crime emerged on Twitter where social media users shared videos and messages supporting the young dancer.

According to the Associated Press, Iranian authorities are considering blocking access to Instagram, but no final decision has been made.

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".

This is not the first time that young people in Iran have been caught in the war between religious hardliners and liberals demanding more social freedoms in the country.

The police said the campaign was being pushed by Persian-language satellite TV networks based overseas, purportedly encouraging women participants to take their white headscarves off in protest of the country's strict Islamic modesty laws.

"Free them up", wrote another man dancing at work in tall plastic boots, "Let people live with this little bit of happiness".

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