An Iranian teenager was detained for posting dance videos on Instagram

Instagram

A Twitter user wrote, "I'm dancing so that they [the authorities] see and know that they can not take away our happiness and hope by arresting teenagers and (girls like) Maedeh".

"It wasn't for attracting attention", The Guardian reporter her as saying in court.

"You will be laughed at if you tell people anywhere in the world that 17 and 18-year-old girls are arrested for their dance, happiness and beauty on charges of spreading indecency, while child rapists and others are free", wrote Iranian blogger and political dissident Hossein Ronaghi-Maleki.

Dozens of Iranian women have flooded social media with videos of themselves dancing in solidarity with an arrested Instagram star. I did not have any intention to encourage others doing the same ...

Teenager Maedah Hojbari, who has tens of thousands of followers on Instagram, regularly posts videos and images of herself without a headscarf, which is a mandatory piece of clothing for women in Iran when going into public spaces.

It's not clear what sentence Hojabri might face for her dancing videos but she has been reportedly released on bail along with the other three women. "I only do gymnastics". Hojabri posted a new video just hours ago addressing her critics.

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But the government says they are necessary to remove a number of terrorist threats inside state institutions. The emergency has been renewed seven times and the latest period is officially due to end on July 19.

While little is known about the teen, her videos have been shared by hundreds of people since her arrest - with activists posting using the hashtag #dancing_isn't_a_crime.

Iranian women are posting videos of themselves dancing to protest the arrest of a teenager who filmed herself busting out to Justin Bieber in her bedroom.

Blogger Hossein Ronaghi said, "People would laugh at you if you tell anyone in the world that [in Iran] they arrest 17-year-olds and 18-year-olds for dancing, being happy and being lovely, for spreading indecency, and instead paedophiles are free".

Dancing with the opposite sex in public in Iran is banned, unless they are immediate family members. In 2014, six people who appeared in an online video dancing to Pharrell Williams' hit song "Happy" on the streets were sentenced to a one-year jail term and 91 lashes.

Six people were arrested in August after partaking in Zumba, an exercise that involves dancing, the BBC reported. The state banned the popular Telegram messaging app in May 2018 and Facebook and Twitter in 2009.

Iranian police said they plan to shut down similar accounts on Instagram, and the judiciary is considering blocking access to the site.

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