Teenager who posted dance videos on social media detained in Iran

Iran detains teenage girl for posting dance videos on Instagram

Iran detains teenage girl for posting dance videos on Instagram

Maedeh Hojabri became something of an internet star in recent months dancing her way into people's hearts the world over.

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. To the tune of Western and Iranian pop and rap music, the teenager bopped and twirled in her bedroom without wearing the compulsory Islamic headscarf or hijab.

Iran's Police for the Sphere of the Production and Exchange of Information (FATA) - better known as Iranian Cyber Police - are monitoring and shutting down Instagram accounts that publish videos of dance lessons. "I only do gymnastics".

Eighteen-year-old Maedeh Hojabri was arrested recently for posting videos of her dancing on Instagram.

Instagram is the only widely used social media app that hasn't been banned in Iran.

Hojabri and an unknown number of other social media users were arrested at an unknown date.

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

Many women's activists responded by posting their own videos of themselves dancing. Iranian officials said last week the judiciary was considering blocking access to Instagram.

"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.

In February, several women removed their headscarves and waved them like flags while standing on public platforms.

The arrests at the time highlighted the divides in the country's leadership. In 2014, six people who appeared in an online video dancing to Pharrell Williams' hit song "Happy" on the streets were sentenced to a one-year jail term and 91 lashes. Similarly, in August a year ago, six people were arrested for taking Zumba classes at a public square in Tehran.

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