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Dancing is Crime in Iran
11 July 2018, 03:55 | Devin Moran
Bedroom Police: Iranian Teen Detained over Instagram Dance Videos
In the posts, she did not adhere to the obligatory Islamic dress code that requires women to cover their hair and body in public.
Maedeh Hojabri was seen on State TV Friday appearing to confess to her "crimes" while crying and shaking.
The Iranian government has strict rules governing women's clothing and dancing with members of the opposite sex in public is banned, according to the BBC. "They are using hashtags that translate to "#dancetofreedom" and "#dancing_isn't_a_crime", according to Time.
Maedeh Hojabri would be an ordinary teenager just about anywhere in the world. Though the original account was shut down, her videos were posted online by other accounts with several thousand followers each.
It is not known whether her public statement of admission was made under duress.
But Hojabri's videos are now suddenly at the center of the latest conflict between religious hard-liners and Iranian liberals seeking more liberties. I did not want to encourage others to do the same.
After her detention Hojabri was featured in a TV program about social media, where she appeared with her face in shadow and was accused by her interviewer of posting images "that disrupt society". I didn't work with a team, I received no training.
Zahra Rahnavard, the opposition Green Movement leader who has been under house arrest in Iran without charge for over seven years was quoted by the Kaleme website as saying, "The head of the IRIB should apologize to the shared conscience of the people of Iran". Iran already blocks Facebook, Twitter and other social media, though many Iranians access them through proxies and VPNs. The video quickly went viral but also provoked the dismay of conservative Iranian authorities.
In 2014, six young Iranians were sentenced to a year in prison and 91 lashes for doing a jig to Pharrell Williams' song "Happy", on the streets and rooftops of Tehran.
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