Iran arrests teenage girl over Instagram video of her dancing in bedroom

Iran arrests teenage girl over Instagram video of her dancing in bedroom ... 09/07/2018 Arts

Keywords:#Associated_Press, #Facebook, #Happy,, #Instagram, #Iran, #Iranian, #Islamic, #Oscar, #Pharrell_Williams, #Tehran, #Telegram, #Twitter, #Western, #YouTube

Maedeh Hojabri, an 18-year-old gymnast, admitted breaking moral norms in a state TV video
Maya Oppenheim
The teenager appeared in videos without wearing a compulsory Islamic headscarf

* * * An Iranian teenage girl has been detained for posting videos of herself dancing in her bedroom on Instagram.
Maedeh Hojabri, an 18-year-old gymnast, admitted breaking moral norms in a state TV video broadcast on Friday.
She maintained that was not her goal and that she was simply attempting to garner more followers, although it was not clear whether her statement was made under duress.
Local news website Shabooneh said Ms Hojabri – who has attracted tens of thousands of followers – and three other individuals were detained on similar charges in recent weeks before being released on bail.
She had posted around 300 videos on her account – many of which saw her dancing in both Iranian and Western styles.
The teenager also appeared in videos without wearing the compulsory Islamic headscarf.
Her performances had thousands of followers on various accounts bearing her name, ranging from 12,000 to 66,000 followers. None of the accounts were verified.
Iranian police have said they plan to shut down similar Instagram accounts and the judiciary is considering blocking access to the site.
Iran has already blocked access to many social media sites, including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and the Telegram messaging app.
However, millions of Iranians continue to use the sites through proxies and virtual private networks.
Iran’s judiciary and security forces are dominated by hardliners who launch periodic crackdowns on behaviour considered un-Islamic. The latest arrests came amid a series of protests against the government’s handling of the economy.
In 2014 authorities sentenced six young men and women to suspended prison terms after they appeared in a video dancing to Pharrell Williams’ song “Happy”.
The video showed three men and three unveiled women dancing on the streets and rooftops of Tehran.
The arrests sparked condemnation from international rights groups and a social media campaign calling for their release.
Williams, whose song was nominated for an Oscar, criticised the arrests.
“It is beyond sad that these kids were arrested for trying to spread happiness,” he wrote on Facebook.
Additional reporting by Associated Press
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