Teen detained over Instagram dance videos

Women Dance To Show Support To Iranian Teen Arrested Over Instagram Clips

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

Hojabri's arrest bears similarities with a 2014 incident in which six young Iranians were arrested for producing a video based on the Pharrell Williams song "Happy".

It shows her without a mandatory headscarf, which is obligatory in the conservative Islamic republic. Her forced "confession" was aired on state TV on July 7, 2018.

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Hojabri's account has been blocked but her videos have spread to other accounts and been reposted by activists protesting her detention.

A supporter uploaded video of people dancing on the streets of London as she wrote, "We hit the #London pavement today, dancing in solidarity with #MaedehHojabri who has been sentenced to prison for dancing".

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. " I dance in a public park in Tehran to support Maedeh the 19-year-old girl who got arrested", wrote another supporter. However, it is illegal for women to dance or be seen without a hijab in public.

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"I had some followers and these videos were for them". I did not want to encourage others to do the same ... "I did not work with a network", Hojabri said in tears. "I only do gymnastics".

"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", the BBC translated the tweet of one supporter. The reports said they were released on bail.

The police have stated that they have plans to shut down similar accounts on Instagram, and the judiciary is now formulating regulations that may severely limit, or completely block the website altogether. The government, which already filters the use of other social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, is soon feared to follow suit with the world's leading image and video sharing platform. Iranian authorities are also now surveilling "Instagram celebrities" who may be facing arrest, according to the New York Times.

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Lower purchases by private refiners dragged down India's June imports from Iran although state refiners stepped up purchases. Pompeo said that a focus remains on denying "Iran the financial capacity to continue this bad behaviour". .

But many Iranians evade the filtering through the use of VPN software, which provides encrypted links directly to private networks overseas, and can allow a computer to behave as if it is based in another country. Earlier in January this year, Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei met with "cyberspace experts" to discuss challenges that the internet poses to the country's leadership.

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