Published: Mon, July 09, 2018
Worldwide | By Myra Stephens

Maedeh Hojabri, Iranian Teen Arrested Over Dancing Instagram Post

Maedeh Hojabri, Iranian Teen Arrested Over Dancing Instagram Post

"It wasn't incitement, I didn't want to encourage anyone, I didn't have an objective", she said. "I had some followers and these videos were for them".

In 2014, a group of Pharrell Williams fans arrested for filming themselves dancing to the song Happy on the rooftops of Tehran received suspended sentences of imprisonment and lashes.

The video was posted on Hojabri's Instagram account, on which she amassed 600,000 followers, The Guardian reported. She was among the many Instagram users arrested by authorities for posting videos on the social media platform in recent weeks.

The teenager, however, was detained by the Iranian police for those same videos.

Masih Alinejad, an Iranian activist and journalist, posted the following video of herself dancing without her obligatory headscarf.

With hashtags that translate as #dance to freedom and #dancing_isn't_a_crime, Iranian women, many also without the mandatory hijab, have started posting their own videos in support of Hojabri.

"People would laugh at you if you tell anyone in the world that [in Iran] they arrest 17-year-olds and 18-year-olds for dancing, being happy and being attractive, for spreading indecency, and instead pedophiles are free", a blogger tells the Guardian. She was shown on state TV giving what appeared to be a forced confession: "It wasn't for attracting attention", she said of her videos, while crying.

Maedeh Hojabri, who was born in Tehran, practiced gymnastics for few years before participating in the sport of Parkour, a training discipline using movement that developed from military obstacle course, which is the reason for her current accusation. But more importantly, she is a courageous great warrior against the barbaric regime who took a nation in hostage.

The Iranian government has enforced strict rules involving dress codes and dancing in public. Another post showed a man holding a birthday cake and dancing, with the comment, "dancing isn't a crime". Similarly, in August past year, six people were arrested for taking Zumba classes at a public square in Tehran.

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