World News

Iranian women post videos of themselves dancing in support of arrested teenager

Iranian women post videos of themselves dancing in support of arrested teenager

Maedeh Hojabri, an 18-year-old gymnast, was detained by police after she posted a video of her dancing to Western pop music in her bedroom.

Hojabri has posted over 300 pictures and videos on Instagram and has over 44000 followers.

A teen in Iran was arrested for dancing to Western songs - including a Justin Bieber tune and a rap number - in videos on social media, according to reports.

"I had no bad intentions. I did not have any intention to encourage others doing the same". "I did not work with a network", a crying Hojabri told TV on Friday.

Hojabri, who reportedly has often spoken about gymnastics and parkour in her videos, was not wearing a hijab in the videos that got her into trouble, which is required by law for women in the authoritarian country.

After her detention Hojabri was featured in a TV program about social media, where she appeared with her face in shadow and was accused by her interviewer of posting images "that disrupt society".

"Art is the language of the soul, highest of the hopes, not a crime, said Twitter user @samzglam". "It wasn't for attracting attention", she said, according to The Guardian.

More news: Dick Cheney signs waterboarding kit in Sacha Baron Cohen's latest teaser

Iran has already blocked access to many social media sites, including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and the Telegram messaging app. Millions of Iranians continue to use the sites through proxies and VPNs.

Iranian media outlets reported that authorities were looking into banning more Instagram accounts or shutting down access to the site completely.

But many Iranians evade the filtering through the use of VPN software, which provides encrypted links directly to private networks overseas, and can allow a computer to behave as if it is based in another country.

"In April, the judiciary arrested a senior Iranian official after a video posted online that showed young boys and girls dancing in public in the northeastern holy Shi'ite city of Mashhad for undermining public decency".

Several women have posted videos of themselves dancing, with the hashtag #Dancing_isn't_a_crime.

The Iranian government has enforced strict rules involving dress codes and dancing in public.

Zahra Rahnavard, the opposition Green Movement leader who has been under house arrest in Iran without charge for over seven years was quoted by the Kaleme website as saying, "The head of the IRIB should apologize to the shared conscience of the people of Iran".