Iranian Teenager Arrested for Dancing in Instagram Videos

A teenage Iranian gymnast was arrested by the Iranian government for dancing in videos that were posted on Instagram.

The Independent reported Maedeh Hojabri posted hundreds of videos of herself dancing on Instagram to both traditional Iranian music and Western music. Women are prohibited from dancing in Iran. The videos also featured Hojabri dancing without wearing a mandatory hijab. She was reportedly arrested last week.

According to the BBC, after Hojabri’s arrest, Iranian television aired her confession. The Independent claims Hojabri confessed to “breaking moral norms” and said she posted her videos in an attempt to grow her online following.

Since Hojabri’s arrest, there has been an outpouring of support from social media users, who uploaded their own videos dancing with hashtags translating to “#dancing_isn’t_a_crime” and “dance_to_freedom.” Some have also shared footage of Hojabri dancing (pictured here).

Local newspapers reportedly claim that at least three other people have been arrested for breaking similar laws.

In 2014, multiple Iranians who were featured dancing in a viral video were given time in prison and 91 lashes.

Iran has banned many social media sites, including Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

In February, the Iranian police arrested 29 people during a protest against Iran’s mandatory hijab law. A woman was recently sentenced to 20 years in prison for her participation in the protests.

The Jerusalem Post reported, in June, Iranians protested against the country in response to currency devaluation and “chanted slogans against the regime authorities.”

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