Published: Thu, July 12, 2018

Iranian girl arrested, made to cry for dancing to pop music

Iranian girl arrested, made to cry for dancing to pop music

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

Three other women who, like Hojabri, built a following on Instagram with their dance videos, have been taken into custody, according to the Asr-Iran news website.

Islamic sharia law in Iran has strict requirements for women in public: they are required to wear headscarves and dancing is banned.

Iranian state TV aired a video in which she apologized for "breaking moral norms" but said any breach was not her intention.

She was arrested alongside other dancers and was forced to confess on state television.

Iranians on social media mocked clerical rulers on Monday after the hardline judiciary arrested a teenage girl for posting on Instagram videos of herself dancing in her room.

On Tuesday, an Iranian court sentenced a prominent human rights activist to 20 years in prison for participating in the protest.

The only woman whose identity has been released to the press so far is Maedeh Hojabri, a 17-year-old gymnast who reportedly had 600,000 followers for her dancing and gymnast posts. " I dance in a public park in Tehran to support Maedeh the 19-year-old girl who got arrested", wrote another supporter.

Some women can be seen without their headscarves, but their faces covered. I did not have any intention to encourage others doing the same ... 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. "I did not work with a network", a crying Hojabri told TV on Friday. "I only do gymnastics", the Guardian newspaper quoted her as saying in the clip broadcast on Iranian state TV.

View a collection of supportive social media posts below, including the top Instagram post from Maedeh Hojabri. Meanwhile in Iran, the cyber-police are continuing to take action against accounts similar to Hojabri's, censoring any unwanted content.

Iran, which has already blocked access to many social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, is also considering blocking access to Instagram.

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.

"Despite this suffocating atmosphere and the threat of imprisonment, people continue to express themselves and protest these restrictions", added Ghaemi.

"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. The popular messaging app was shut down earlier this year.

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