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Artículo This Iranian woman was arrested and forced to publicly apologise for dancing in Instagram videos News

News

This Iranian woman was arrested and forced to publicly apologise for dancing in Instagram videos

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Maedeh Hojabri is a teenager who has grown a large following on Instagram by showing off her impressive dance moves. Now she is being detained by Iran's authorities.

Anna Freeman

09 Julio 2018 12:08

Dancing is a crime for women in Iran.

Iranian authorities have arrested a number of women for sharing videos of themselves dancing on Instagram, including one young woman whose arrest has prompted widespread outrage and protest.

According to activists, Maedeh Hojabri, a woman in her late teens, was just one of many popular Instagrammers who have been arrested for dancing. The names of others have not yet been confirmed, however.

Hojabri’s account, which has now been suspended, reportedly had more than 600,000 followers at the time of her arrest. She has since appeared on a state television programme with other detainees to apologise for their ‘crimes’.

Activists say she and others were forced to make public confessions, a tactic habitually employed by Iranian authorities. State TV showed a young woman, her face blurred, crying and shaking while describing her motivation for producing the videos.

‘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.’

There is little information about Hojabri, but since her arrest her videos have been shared by hundreds of people in solidarity with the teen and other detainees.

Women in Iran have also been posting videos of themselves dancing online, with social media users spreading messages of support for the young dancer, using hashtags such as one that translates to #dancing_isn't_a_crime.

The Iranian government enforces strict rules governing women's clothing and dancing with members of the opposite sex in public is banned, except in front of immediate family members.

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