Friday, 21 September, 2018

Iranians Dance To Protest Detention Of Teen Over Instagram Videos

Maedeh Hojabri has posted around 300 videos on her Instagram account Maedeh Hojabri has posted around 300 videos on her Instagram account
Patty Aguilar | 11 July, 2018, 09:39

Maedeh Hojabri, who had more than 40,000 followers on Instagram, recently appeared in a program on state-controlled Iranian television in which she acknowledged breaking moral norms.

It is not known whether her public statement of admission was made under duress.

Iranian Instagram celebrity and dancer Maedeh Hojabri would have been just another teenager in most parts of the world: operating multiple social media accounts and uploading videos of herself dancing.

The crackdown is not new in the Islamic republic.

According to the Associated Press, the demonstrations came after protests forced two major shopping centers for mobile phones and electronics to close in Tehran.

"It wasn't for attracting attention", Hojabri said.

She had some 43,000 followers.

Hojabri had been dancing in a public forum, which is frowned upon in conservative Iranian circles, and doing so without the headscarf prescribed by Iran's clerical rulers.

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The potential charges against Hojabri were not specified, but she is likely to be accused of running afoul of Islamic codes of behavior that call for modesty in attire and behavior.

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

This is not the first time women have become victims of Iran's strict rules.

Many women's activists responded by posting their own videos of themselves dancing.

Another person, Masih Alinejad, posted a video of herself defiantly dancing in a public park in Tehran.

Iranian police said they plan to shut down similar accounts on Instagram, and the judiciary is considering blocking access to the site.

Since it is hard for women to play an active part in public life, communicating on social media platforms like Telegram and Instagram has become extremely popular.

Hojabri is reportedly one of several people arrested and released on bail in Iran in recent weeks on charges related to dancing to pop music without wearing a hijab.

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