The Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) condemns the Iranian authorities' arrest and inhumane treatment of 18-year-old Maedeh Hojabri.
Hojabri recorded and posted around 300 videos on Instagram of herself dancing in what Iran would deem an "immoral" manner.
On Friday, Maedeh Hojabri confessed to "breaking moral norms" during a state TV video broadcast, according to The Independent, which activists are calling a forced appearance. In some of the videos, she appeared without the mandatory headscarf or hijab. Her performances had thousands of followers on various accounts with her name on them, ranging from 12,000 to 66,000 followers.
"It wasn't for attracting attention", Hojabri said.
Shabooneh, a local news website, said Hojabri and three other individuals were detained on similar charges in recent weeks before being released on bail.
On social media, Hojabri's arrest received many supporters who went to share videos for them while dancing, using hashtags like #FreeMaedeh, #MaedehHojabri or #DancingIsNotACrime.
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Thousands of Iranians reportedly took to Tehran's historic Grand Bazaar one week ago, forcing its shutdown in protest over the Islamic Republic's decision to spend money on Iran's adventurism overseas instead of helping fuel its troubled economy at home, where over 40 percent of its population is unemployed.
Iranian-American journalist Negar Mortazavi shared one of Hojabri's videos on her Twitter account, which received several comments praising the young girl's courage, and it was re-tweeted over 1,000 times.
One filmed herself dancing in a park in Tehran, though she was wearing a headscarf, which breaks strict rules set by the Islamic regime.
"It wasn't incitement, I didn't want to encourage anyone, I didn't have an objective", she said.
In Iran, women are required to cover their hair while out in public, and dancing with the opposite sex is prohibited unless it is in front of immediate family members, according to the BBC. Even though President Hassan Rouhani has repeatedly indicated that he may favor opening up Iran's restrictive official Internet, enforcing laws online is ultimately up to the judiciary, which is controlled by religious hard-liners.
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