Iranian women dance in solidarity with teenager arrested for her videos

  • Iranian women dance in solidarity with teenager arrested for her videos

Iranian women dance in solidarity with teenager arrested for her videos

After Iran detained an 18 year old gymnast, Maedeh Hojabri, social media users posted videos dancing in support and protest of the government's conservative laws.

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

Iranian state TV showed Hojabri and other detainees confessing to breaking moral conventions, according to the Associated Press, who reported that it was "unclear whether her statement was made under duress". "I did not work with a network", a crying Hojabri told TV on Friday.

"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!"

Hojabri also appeared in some videos without a headscarf, an obligatory dress code for women in Iran.

Hojabri, who had hundreds of thousands of Instagram followers at the time of her arrest, said in her confession that she made the videos for her followers, not to get attention or encourage similar behavior, according to a translation by the Guardian.

Iranian woman are not allowed to dance in front of men except for close family members.

Before her account was blocked by Iranian authorities, Hojabri had posted around 300 videos on her Instagram account - in which she appeared without wearing the compulsory Islamic headscarf. "I only do gymnastics".

Hojabri's account has since been suspended, but social media users have been sharing her videos.

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".

"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", the BBC translated the tweet of one supporter.

One person commented: "Awesome excellent dancer".

Numerous women took to social media with videos of themselves dancing, declaring "dancing is not a crime".

In 2014, six young Iranians were sentenced to a year in prison and 91 lashes for doing a jig to Pharrell Williams' song "Happy", on the streets and rooftops of Tehran. Similarly, in August previous year, six people were arrested for taking Zumba classes at a public square in Tehran.