Teenager who posted dance videos on social media detained in Iran

Frederick Owens
July 11, 2018

She has posted over 300 videos with her dances to national and Western music. In numerous videos, she did not wear a hijab, which is mandatory for women to wear in public in the country.

Also, several hashtags like #dancing_isn't_a_crime emerged on Twitter where social media users shared videos and messages supporting the young dancer.

In Iran, women are required to cover their hair while out in public, and dancing with the opposite sex is prohibited unless it is in front of immediate family members, according to the BBC.

Maedeh Hojabri gained a large social media following for her dancing videos. "I had some followers and these videos were for them".

Iran's Police for the Sphere of the Production and Exchange of Information (FATA) - better known as Iranian Cyber Police - are monitoring and shutting down Instagram accounts that publish videos of dance lessons. "I did not work with a network", a crying Hojabri told TV on Friday.

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". "I only do gymnastics".

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Women in Iran have posted protest videos of themselves dancing on Instagram, and other protests against the country's hijab laws have erupted in recent months.

The 18-year-old girl apparently has around 60,000 followers on Instagram. "Because for them, it's unbelievable!" blogger Hossein Ronaghi tweeted.

Following their arrest, Iranian state television showed the detainees admitting that they were involved in the "Happy" production, even though they insisted that they had been tricked into participating.

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.

In August past year, six women were arrested for dancing Zumba, a modern and popular dance style.

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