Iranian girl held for dancing Instagram post

Maedeh – Iran dancer

Maedeh Hojabri was arrested for her Instagram videosvia @maedeh_hozhabriIranian women are being arrested for dancing on Instagram

Since the news of Hojabri's arrest went viral, many other Iranian women have begun sharing their own videos and messages using the hashtag #dancing_isn't_a_crime as a mark of solidarity and protest.

There has been widespread outcry over the arrest of Hojabri and the other detainees among Iranians in Iran and overseas, by artists, journalists, activists, politicians and thousands of ordinary citizens on social media.

"It wasn't for attracting attention", one of the arrested women said through tears in a broadcast on Friday, according to The Guardian.

Turkish police arrested Islamic television preacher and author Adnan Oktar and more than 160 of his followers in dawn raids.

Meanwhile, another Iranian woman was reportedly sentence to 20 years in prison for removing her headscarf in protest in December.

Now only one woman has been publicly named, a 17-year-old gymnast named Maedeh Hojabri.

Maedeh Hajabri posted a video dancing to pop and rap music without donning a hijab in her bedroom, which is a requirement for all women who appear in public. " I dance in a public park in Tehran to support Maedeh the 19-year-old girl who got arrested", wrote another supporter. In February, dozens of Iranian women were arrested for their involvement in protests against the country's compulsory headscarf law.

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.

"It wasn't incitement, I didn't want to encourage anyone, I didn't have an objective", she said. Her videos have also appeared on various Instagram accounts dedicated to her, although they have not been verified.

"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", said one supporter in a tweet translated by BBC. "I did not work with a network", a crying Hojabri said. "I only do gymnastics", she continued.

Prominent blogger Hossein Ronaghi wrote: "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, they will laugh!"

But today, Instagram is one of the few social media platform allowed in Iran.

The police said the campaign was being pushed by Persian-language satellite TV networks based overseas, purportedly encouraging women participants to take their white headscarves off in protest of the country's strict Islamic modesty laws.

The Iranian National Parliament on Wednesday weighed in, and criticised the arrest of the teenager.

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