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
— Negar (@NegarMortazavi) July 8, 2018
This Iranian girl was arrested in Tehran for uploading her dance videos in instagram. This is ridiculous!
— mary (@maryazizi1) July 7, 2018
Many Uploaded Their Dancing Videos to Support Maedeh
Many Iranian girls started supporting #MaedehHojabri who was arrested because she uploaded her dancing videos on Instagram. Here is the video of a girl who supports #MaedehHojabri and defies the Iranian regime by dancing in a public space. #IranRegimeChange #دوربین_ما_اسلحه_ما pic.twitter.com/i2gH5QmwZm
— Iranian American (@IranLionness) July 8, 2018
Twitterati Condemned the Decision of Maedah's Detention
Arresting a 19-year-old girl for dancing & uploading her videos on Instagram and then forcing her to confess her "crime" on TV. Yet another disgraceful act by #Iran's judiciary & every single individual involved. A horrendous display of intolerance. For shame. #MaedehHojabri pic.twitter.com/XhJArMBCUc
— Reza H. Akbari (@rezahakbari) July 7, 2018
Her name is Maeade Mahi. Recently she got arrested just because of uploading her dancing videos on her Instagram. If you are a woman in Iran and you dance or sing or show your hair then you are a criminal. If you want to enjoy your true self, you have to brake the laws every day. pic.twitter.com/0eIq5ld5x6
— Masih Alinejad 🏳️ (@AlinejadMasih) July 7, 2018
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.