Teen Detained by Iranian Police Over Instagram Dance Videos, Netizens Speak Out in Support of Her
Teenager detained by Iranian police after posting dancing videos on Instagram. (Photo Credits: Reza Akbari & Masih Alinejad/Twitter)

Maedeh Hojabri, 18-year-old gymnast has been detained by Iranian police for posting dance videos on Instagram that attracted tens of thousands of followers. As the case gained publicity, Iranian state TV broadcaster IRIB aired a video in which she confessed that she regretted recording and uploading such clips, at the same time, the teen insisted that breaking moral norms was not her intention. Netizens have speculated that her statement was forced, and many have spoken in support of the teenager.

Shabooneh, a local news website, said Hojabri and three other individuals were detained on similar charges in recent weeks before being released on bail. She was detained claiming in her dance videos she was not wearing the obligatory Islamic headscarf. She had posted around 300 videos on her account, many of which showed her dancing in both Iranian and Western styles. Islamic laws enforced in Iran prohibit dancing public. Many Iranians on social media have strongly criticised the arrest of Hojabri by the hard-line judiciary while expressing support for the young woman.

Twitter Supports Maedah Hojabri

Many Uploaded Their Dancing Videos to Support Maedeh

Twitterati Condemned the Decision of Maedah's Detention

Iranian police have also said that they plan to shut down similar accounts on Instagram, which is used by millions of Iranians. Last week, a news agency quoted a judiciary official as saying that the filtering or blocking of Instagram was on the agenda. However, communications minister Javad Azari Jahromi said Instagram would not be blocked. Among social media networks, Facebook, Twitter and Telegram are blocked in Iran, though many Iranians access them through antifiltering tools.