A number of women have reportedly been arrested in Iran after posting videos on Instagram – including one who recorded herself dancing.
Maedeh Hojabri was among the various creators of Instagram accounts who have been detained. The identities of other detainees are yet to be revealed.
At the time of her arrest, Ms Hojabri’s account reportedly boasted more than 600,000 followers.
Sge has since appeared on a state television programme with other detainees, which saw her delivering what is believed to be a forced confession.
In the video, she is seen crying while describing her reasons for making the videos.
Her name is Maeade Mahi. Recently she got arrested just because of uploading her dancing videos on her Instagram. If you are a woman in Iran and you dance or sing or show your hair then you are a criminal. If you want to enjoy your true self, you have to brake the laws every day. pic.twitter.com/0eIq5ld5x6
— Masih Alinejad ?️ (@AlinejadMasih) July 7, 2018
“It wasn’t for attracting attention,” she said in the video.
“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.”
It’s believed that the Iranian authorities consider the videos to be an affront to traditional values – as they showed women dancing to western pop and rap music without wearing a hijab, which is required in public.
The head of Iranian cyber-police, Touraj Kazemi, has confirmed that he was leading a crackdown against popular Instagram acccounts.
Three years ago, a group of Iranian Pharrell Williams fans were also arrested for filming themselves dancing to ‘Happy’ in Tehran. They received suspended prison sentences and lashes.