03:24 GMT01 August 2021
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    Iranian police said they would delete accounts with similar content on Instagram, with the judiciary mulling to block access to the social media platform.

    Iranian police detained 18-year-old dancer Maedeh Hojabri for posting videos of her dancing on Instagram, where she had tens of thousands of followers. As the case gained publicity, Iranian state TV broadcaster IRIB aired a video in which she confessed that she regretted recording and uploading such clips; at the same time, the teen insisted that breaking moral norms was not her intention.

    She had been sharing hundreds of dance videos on her Instagram account, not wearing a headscarf, which is obligatory in Iran – but after her detention, the profile is said to have been shut down by police.

    Social media users have speculated that her statement was forced, with some claiming that Maedeh has already been released on bail on condition that she will never again post her dance videos online:

    Twitterians stood by the girl, encouraging her to “keep on dancing”:

    Some even said that many Iranian girls were inspired by Maedeh and uploaded their own dance videos to support her:

    A number of Iranian-American activists also condemned the detention of the girl, adding that they were proud of her:

    Since June, many Iranian women have been filming themselves dancing in the streets, breaking a strict ban on dancing in front of men who are not family members – which, by extension, includes dancing in public spaces.

    This kind of protest against the strict laws has been gaining momentum for several months, as well as women removing their hijabs in public, which is also illegal in Iran.

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