Why women in Iran are dancing together in protest

Posted by
Susan Devaney
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Women in Iran have been sharing videos of themselves dancing on social media, in support of a teenager who was arrested. 

Women across Iran are posting videos of themselves dancing online after several people were reportedly arrested for sharing similar videos on Instagram.

Maedeh Hojabri, an 18-year-old gymnast, was arrested after posting clips of herself dancing in her bedroom to her thousands of Instagram followers. The identities of the other detainees have not been confirmed, according to the The Guardian.

Since her arrest Hojabri has appeared on national TV with other detainees to make a public apology.

“It wasn’t for attracting attention,” she said, with her face blurred and crying. “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.”

Hojabri’s videos were filmed in her bedroom as she danced to Western and Iranian music without wearing a hijab, which is mandatory in public in Iran.

Instagram remains one of the few unblocked apps in the country. Currently, Facebook and Twitter are filtered.

In protest, many people have taken to Twitter to share videos of themselves dancing in protest using the hashtag, #DancingIsNotACrime.

In London, Amnesty International took to the street to dance in solidarity with “Maedeh Hojabri and other brave girls and women demanding their rights in Iran”.

In 2014, several people were reportedly arrested in Iran after posting a video of themselves dancing to Pharrell Williams’ song, Happy.

You can read more on recent protests that have occurred in Iran here.

Images: Unsplash