Iranian women are being arrested for dancing on Instagram

Maedeh – Iran dancer

The Washington Post reported several Iranians have also been arrested for teaching Zumba, a Colombian fitness routine, and in 2014 a group of at least six Iranians was arrested for making a version of the Pharrell Williams song "Happy", in which they were dancing on rooftops in Tehran.

Hojabri's detention is the latest arrest of a woman violating Iran's strict social codes.

Hojabri and others facing similar accusations previously appeared on Iranian state TV in a video in which the young gymnast - potentially speaking under duress - acknowledged producing the videos.

Iranian media outlets reported that authorities were looking into banning more Instagram accounts or shutting down access to the site completely.

Forcing a teenage girl to confess on state TV for the "crime" of posting a video of herself dancing on Instagram represents a blatant violation of freedom of expression and demonstrates the extent to which the authorities are brutally imposing their cultural dictates on the people of Iran.

Hojabri, who reportedly has often spoken about gymnastics and parkour in her videos, was not wearing a hijab in the videos that got her into trouble, which is required by law for women in the authoritarian country. She, however, insisted that this was not her intention, noting that she was only trying to gain more followers, Reuters reports.

"People do not have drinking water in some parts of the country there are numerous corruption scandals and instead of dealing with these issues, you're concerning yourselves with a teenager's dance, " said legislator Parvaneh Salahshouri, according to news agency Isna.

And just like the case of Hojabri, their faces were not shown.

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In February police arrested a woman, Shapark Shajarizadeh, for removing her Islamic head-covering during a public protest.

Reihane Taravati, a Tehran-based fashion photographer, who was a member of the group detained in 2014, spoke out against this pattern of injustice. Now you arrest #MaedehHojabri and she is only 18!

Authorities in Iran arrested four girls and women last week for posting videos of themselves dancing on Instagram.

Women around the world are dancing like everyone is watching. "If you want to enjoy your true self, you have to brake (sic) the laws every day", tweeted Iranian activist and TV journalist Masih Alinejad.

Officials arrested the 17- or 18-year-old Hojabri after she shared videos of herself dancing to Western and Iranian music at home with her tens of thousands of followers.

According to the Associated Press, Iranian authorities are considering blocking access to Instagram, but no final decision has been made.

The secretary of the influential Guardian Council, Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati, has relayed Khamenei's stand in the past, having reportedly said in a joint session of the Assembly of Experts on 25 January that "cyberspace is a curse threatening our lives". The state banned the popular Telegram messaging app in May 2018 and Facebook and Twitter in 2009.

"I have already said that it is impossible to totally block the internet, but we can slow it down", he added.

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