Iranian women have been arrested for dancing on Instagram

  • Iranian women have been arrested for dancing on Instagram

Iranian women have been arrested for dancing on Instagram

In response to Hojabri's arrest, Iranians began posting videos of themselves dancing on social media.

Numerous protesters and supporters of Hojabri are Iranian women, who've also been posting videos of themselves dancing in public. She also appeared in videos without wearing the obligatory Islamic headscarf. Her forced "confession" was aired on state TV on July 7, 2018.

Aside from posting selfies and photos with her loved ones, gymnast Maedeh Hojabri regularly posts videos of herself dancing on her Instagram account which now has over 76,000 followers.

A supporter uploaded video of people dancing on the streets of London as she wrote, "We hit the #London pavement today, dancing in solidarity with #MaedehHojabri who has been sentenced to prison for dancing".

Before her social media accounts were deleted, Hojabri posted around 300 videos on her Instagram, many of which showed her dancing in both Iranian and Western styles. " I dance in a public park in Tehran to support Maedeh the 19-year-old girl who got arrested", wrote another supporter. Men and women are banned from dancing in public. I did not have any intention to encourage others doing the same... "I did not work with a network", a crying Hojabri said. The Times reports authorities have said they may soon ban Instagram, and announced that 51,000 Instagram pages are under surveillance for vulgar and inappropriate videos.

Iran, which has already blocked access to many social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, is also considering blocking access to Instagram. "I only do gymnastics", she continued. 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.

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman lashed out at European countries for criticizing Israel while ignoring Iran's repression of Instagram celebrity and dancer Maedeh Hojabri.

"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", said one supporter in a tweet translated by BBC.

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. "It wants to control the clothing they wear, the music they listen to, the books they read, the movies they watch, and the way they live their lives", said CHRI's Executive Director Hadi Ghaemi. Earlier in January this year, Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei met with "cyberspace experts" to discuss challenges that the internet poses to the country's leadership.