Iran has detained a teenager who made dance videos in her bedroom and then posted them on social media. Maedeh Hojabri, 18, had garnered 60,000 followers before her arrest and her offending Instagram account shut down.
Iran State TV broadcast a video on Friday in which Hojabri acknowledged breaking “moral norms” while insisting that was not her intention. It was unclear whether her statement was made under duress, AP reports.
Responses to the arrest quickly emerged on Twitter:
— Negar (@NegarMortazavi) July 8, 2018
#MaedehHojabri is a teenage girl who was uploading her own dance in #Instagram! Because of it Police arrested her! She is a teenager who is in jail right now Because of dancing!
In #Iran all the peoples are criminals because they don’t want to live Islamic style.#مائده_هژبری pic.twitter.com/LeLCIuZyK3
— Nahid Seif (@NahidSeif) July 7, 2018
As long as you live in #Iran you are not safe. That’s the reason most of artist had immigrated. #MaedehHojabri is a teenage girl who dances really good, because of her dancing art and uploading in #Instagram she has been imprisoned.#SaveIranians#IranRegimeChange pic.twitter.com/xMdaeOD3y6
— Farhad Mottaghi (@farhad_mottaghi) July 7, 2018
She had posted around 300 videos on her account, many of which showed her dancing without wearing the obligatory Islamic headscarf.
Iran has been roiled by demonstrations against the ruling regime in recent months, with people in the capital Tehran especially keen to raise their voices against the Islamic theocracy’s rulers.
Thousands of Iranians reportedly took to Tehran’s historic Grand Bazaar one week ago, forcing its shutdown in protest over the Islamic Republic’s decision to spend money on Iran’s adventurism abroad instead of helping fuel its troubled economy at home, where over 40 percent of its population is unemployed.
According to the Associated Press, the demonstrations came after protests forced two major shopping centers for mobile phones and electronics to close in Tehran.