Iranian women dance in solidarity with teenager arrested for her videos

Iranian women dance in solidarity with teenager arrested for her videos

Instagram is one of the few Western social media sites not heavily blocked in Iran, and Hojabri posted about 300 photos and videos before her account was temporarily shut down.

Iranian Instagram celebrity and dancer Maedeh Hojabri would have been just another teenager in most parts of the world: operating multiple social media accounts and uploading videos of herself dancing.

Iran State TV broadcast a video on Friday in which Hojabri acknowledged breaking "moral norms" while insisting that was not her intention.

Her videos appears on various Instagram accounts attributed to her, however none have been verified.

It's not clear what sentence Hojabri might face for her dancing videos but she has been reportedly released on bail along with the other three women.

However, millions of Iranians continue to use these sites through proxies and VPNs.

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"The government's intolerance and disrespect of Iranians' choice of lifestyle is indicative of a lack of freedom in the country that has reached a new low in the past few months with the attack on social media personalities", said Ghaemi.

"It wasn't incitement, I didn't want to encourage anyone, I didn't have an objective", she said.

No charges have been announced in Hojabri's case but the day her forced confession was aired, the head of Tehran's cyber-police Touraj Kazemi announced that people who post "indecent" material online would be pursued for committing crimes against national security.

Dancing with people of the opposite sex with who are not relatives is forbidden. If you are a woman in Iran and you dance or sing or show your hair then you are a criminal.

Hojabri had been dancing in a public forum, which is frowned upon in conservative Iranian circles, and doing so without the headscarf prescribed by Iran's clerical rulers. In 2014, a group of Pharrell Williams fans were arrested for filming themselves dancing to the song Happy on the rooftops of Tehran. they received suspended sentences of imprisonment and 91 lashes.

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