Teenage girl Maedeh Hojabri arrested over dancing Instagram post
Iran has arrested a number of people for posting videos on Instagram, including a teenage girl who posted clips of herself dancing fully-clothed on social media.
Maedeh Hojabri, an 18-year-old gymnast, appeared in a state TV video broadcast on Friday, admitting to break moral norms while insisting that it was not her intention, and that she was only trying to gain more followers.
“It wasn’t for attracting attention,” she said. “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.” Activists believe the teenage girl was psychologically tortured to make forced televised confession.
Maedeh Hojabri who had freed on bail, had posted around 300 videos on her account, many of which showed her dancing without wearing the obligatory Islamic headscarf. Her account, which has been suspended, was reported to have had more than 600,000 followers.
According to a judiciary decree the Instagram account of Maedeh Hojabri and some known dance teachers in Iran were recently blocked. In the accounts belonging to Ms. Shadab, Ms. Elnaz Qhasemi, Ms. Maedeh Hozhabri and some others it was posted: “This account is blocked on the order of honorable judiciary official for publishing criminal content.” Almost all dancing clips are omitted from these pages.
Iran’s judiciary and security forces have a history of clamping down on behavior deemed un-Islamic as an extension of the government’s policy of repression, with authorities arresting people for modeling, dancing and even singing.