Iranian Teen Arrested for Posting Videos of Herself Dancing on Instagram

Women Dance To Show Support To Iranian Teen Arrested Over Instagram Clips

Women Dance To Show Support To Iranian Teen Arrested Over Instagram Clips

Hojabri posted around 300 videos on her Instagram account and majority showed her dancing in her room to Iranian and western music.

"In response to reports of Hojabri's arrest, Iranians began posting videos online of themselves dancing in public under the hashtags #dancing_isn't_a_crime" and "#dance_to_freedom".

Soon after Hojabri's reported detention, Iranian state TV Saturday showed a young woman, with her face blurred, crying and explaining her reasons for posting the video.

"It wasn't for attracting attention", she said.

News coverage of Hojabri's arrest has, ironically, spread the reach of her videos far beyond her Instagram account.

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.

Maedeh Hojabri was arrested and forced to confess on state television for videos she posted of herself dancing in her bedroom. " I dance in a public park in Tehran to support Maedeh the 19-year-old girl who got arrested", wrote another supporter.

Iranian women in public are obliged to cover their heads with scarves in line with teachings of Islam. I did not have any intention to encourage others doing the same ... "I did not work with a network", Hojabri said in tears.

"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. Her videos have also appeared on various Instagram accounts dedicated to her, although they have not been verified. "I only do gymnastics", she continued.

It wasn't clear how many women had taken part in the protest, but reports in worldwide media said dozens were risking arrest by uploading their own videos online.

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

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". Their identities are still unknown and all of them were reportedly released on bail. And while authorities sometimes turn a blind eye on some violations of the country's strict laws on female clothing or Western music, Iran still regularly punishes violations to set examples. Earlier in January this year, Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei met with "cyberspace experts" to discuss challenges that the internet poses to the country's leadership.

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