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Teen Instagram star arrested for her dance videos. Iranian women dance in protest

Maedeh Hojabri was arrested after she posted videos in which she is dancing to English and Iranian songs without wearing a headscarf

Sreyashi Mazumdar @Sreyashi27 10 July 2018, 2:36 PM
Maedeh Hojabri's Insta profile has been blocked

Maedeh Hojabri's Insta profile has been blocked Image: Twitter

So you think you can dance? Well... not everybody can, though. Not without getting arrested. 

Iran, for instance, is not okay with its women dancing on camera. And if someone bends the rules, she will be penalised. Like Maedeh Hojabri, a 19-year-old gymnast, who got arrested for posting her dance videos on Instagram. 

Her arrest has sparked a furore across the country. Women from several corners of Iran are posting their dance videos on Twitter as a mark of protest.

Hojabri had around 60,000 followers on the photo-sharing platform. After the crackdown, her page has been blocked. In her videos, she is seen dancing to Iranian and English songs. She faced such action because under the Islamic Republic, it is essential for women to wear headscarves in public, and dancing in public is also prohibited. Hojabri flouted both the rules in her videos.

But Hojabri is not the only one to have been arrested in Iran for non-conformist behaviour. In 2014, six young Iranians were arrested for producing a video based on the Pharrell Williams song Happy. Several other women, whose names haven't been revealed, have faced similar punishment.

Women who have been arrested were forced to apologise on camera. Hojabri, whose face was blurred on camera, was asked to say, "It wasn't for attracting attention. I had some followers and these videos were for them. I did not have any intention to encourage others doing the same… I didn't work with a team. I received no training, I only do gymnastics." 

Women in Iran are in no mood to keep mum and are clapping back with full force. They are dancing in protest of Hojabri's arrest.

Here's how others have responded to the issue:

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