In Iran a teenage girl was arrested for dancing in Instagram

12 July, 2018, 14:27 | Author: Myra Gill
  • Maedeh Hojabri an Iranian teen who was detained in May 2018 for posting dance videos on her Instagram account

Before her social media accounts were deleted, Hojabri posted around 300 videos on her Instagram, many of which showed her dancing in both Iranian and Western styles.

A supporter uploaded video of people dancing on the streets of London as she wrote, "We hit the #London pavement today, dancing in solidarity with #MaedehHojabri who has been sentenced to prison for dancing".

In Iran videobloger arrested for posting dancing video to Instagram. In some, she can be seen without a headscarf, swaying to songs by popular Western artists like Justin Bieber.

Hojabri posted a new video last night addressing her critics.

"You arrested me for being #Happy when I was 23".

Social norms, the unwritten rules about how to behave and what to wear in society, evolve and as more people follow them, they get hardened. Her performances attracted thousands of followers.

Hojabri and others facing similar accusations previously appeared on Iranian state TV in a video in which the young gymnast - potentially speaking under duress - acknowledged producing the videos.


Iranian-American journalist Negar Mortazavi shared one of Hojabri's videos on her Twitter account, which received several comments praising the young girl's courage, and it was re-tweeted over 1,000 times.

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

"It wasn't incitement, I didn't want to encourage anyone, I didn't have an objective", she said. "I did not work with a network", a crying Hojabri told TV on Friday.

The Times quoted a hard-line analyst in Iran, Hamidreza Taraghi: "Instagram started out as an innocent tool, available on the internet, where people would upload photos and write some words".

Iran's 2009 "Green Movement" was largely fueled by social media.

The secretary of the influential Guardian Council, Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati, has relayed Khamenei's stand in the past, having reportedly said in a joint session of the Assembly of Experts on 25 January that "cyberspace is a curse threatening our lives". However, because of "unwanted content", authorities may also shut down Instagram leaving their millions of local users in the dark.

"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. But the Westerners behind it gradually turned Instagram into a mischievous tool for risky subversive actions against the state or pornographic purposes.

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