Iran detains teenage girl for posting dance videos on Instagram


Hojabri had posted about 300 videos to her almost 600,000 followers, many that showed her dancing, sometimes in mid-riff baring tops and tight jeans, without a hijab, which is required in public.

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

Following her arrest, Hojbari was reportedly broadcast on Iranian state TV on Friday, "confessing" to acting immorally and saying her only intention was to gain a larger following.

In 2014, six Iranians, three men and three unveiled women, received suspended sentences of one year imprisonment and 91 lashes for a video that showed them dancing on Tehran's rooftops to Pharrell William's song "Happy". The Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) condemns the Iranian authorities' arrest and inhumane treatment of 18-year-old Maedeh Hojabri. Though the original account was shut down, her videos were posted online by other accounts with several thousand followers each.

It was not known whether her public confession was made under duress or whether she was released as a result.

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There has been widespread outcry over the arrest of Hojabri and the other detainees among Iranians in Iran and overseas, by artists, journalists, activists, politicians and thousands of ordinary citizens on social media.

In response to the arrest, some women took to social media to post videos of themselves dancing, in support of Hojabri, using the Iranian version of the hashtag #dancing_isn't_a_crime. Other individuals besides Hojabri also appear to have been detained on similar charges. Such departures from their mores feed into the agenda of hardline politicians battling the more moderate President Hassan Rouhani to limit access to social media platforms, which they see as corrupting society's morals and endangering national security.

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

This isn't the first time people have been arrested for dancing.

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.