Around the Web

Watch: An Iranian teenager was arrested for posting dance videos on Instagram

In several videos, Maedeh Hojabri was also seen without the obligatory headscarf.

Maedeh Hojabri would be an ordinary teenager just about anywhere in the world. The 18-year-old gymnast got famous on Instagram for posting dance videos and gained tens of thousands of followers – nothing we haven’t heard before.

The teenager, however, was detained by the Iranian police for those same videos. On Friday, according to the Associated Press, State TV in Iran broadcast a video in which Hojabri acknowledged breaking moral norms while insisting that was not her intention – she was only trying to gain more followers. As of now, it’s unclear whether the teen dancer made her statement under duress.

According to AP, Hojabri had posted around 300 videos on her Instagram account, many of which showed her dancing in both Iranian and Western styles in the privacy of her bedroom. In several videos, she chose to appear without wearing the obligatory headscarf. Though the original account was shut down, her videos were posted online by other accounts with several thousand followers each. You can watch them below.

AP also reported that according to Masih Alinejad, an Iranian activist, Hojabri was later released on bail. She wasn’t the only to be detained on similar charges either. According to Shabooneh, a local news website, three other individuals were also released on bail after receiving similar charges.

And that’s not all. Iranian police also said they plan to shut down similar accounts on Instagram. The judiciary is also considering blocking access to the site, just as has been done with Facebook, Twitter and other social media websites and apps.

Several people on social media have spoken up in support of Hojabri, and against the overall situation in Iran.

Women in Iran have been protesting against Iran’s strict modesty laws for years now through dance. Many of them have been performing dance forms like the Australian shuffle on the streets (video below).

In 2014, an Iranian woman protested against Iran’s strict laws by dancing publicly on the Tehran metro (video below). According to BBC’s video description, this was just months after a group of young Iranians were arrested for dancing to Pharrell William’s Happy.

Support our journalism by subscribing to Scroll+ here. We welcome your comments at
Sponsored Content BY 

What is it about Tom Clancy’s characters?

In the mammoth Jack Ryan series, Tom Clancy creates a compelling protagonist who is as cerebral as he is action-oriented.

Jack Ryan (Ph.D., CPA, KCVO) has had an eventful life. He’s served as a marine, made a fortune worth millions after retirement from the military, earned a doctorate degree in history and beaten up a lot of bad guys along the way. He is a unique action hero, in that he has also been a US Marine, an investment broker, a history teacher, a CIA analyst rising to Deputy Director, National Security Advisor, vice president and eventually the President of the United States of America! This multipotentialite is the protagonist of Tom Clancy’s ‘Ryanverse’ - the term used to refer to the fictional universe he built over 10 books.

Jack Ryan is a complex hero. Before he was beating up bad guys Hollywood-style, he also took a year to learn to walk again and battled painkiller addiction. Before he became the POTUS, jet-setting around the world on official matters, he nursed a crushing phobia of flying. A reluctant president, he nonetheless campaigns for a second term and even has foreign policy named after him - the ‘Ryan Doctrine’- in the tradition of some past US presidents.

Other prominent characters in Ryanverse have equally rollercoaster-like story arcs. John Clark/Kelly - Ryan’s bodyguard - is tragedy’s favourite child, having lost his parents in childhood and later wife. After a whirlwind adventure involving two gunshots and 16 murders, John Kelly ended up having to change his identity to John Clark. He, unlike Ryan, has an unusually strong aversion to drugs.

In the later books, Tom Clancy also devotes space to Jack Ryan Jr, who takes after his father more ways than one. An intelligence analyst by profession, Jack Jr, too, is adept in firearms, close-quarter combat, surveillance and espionage. Jack Jr has a tumultuous relationship with his girlfriend, a CIA operative herself, with whom he parts after she’s revealed to be an indirect intelligence asset.

Ryanverse is replete with scores of characters of all shades - spies, soldiers, terrorists, politicians and criminals - that set in motion events that threaten the course of world order. Clancy’s varied interests and love for research culminates in an action series which also explores history, politics, international relations and the human condition, especially when it comes to loss and grief. All his prominent characters are fighting some personal demons even as they chase down enemies that are equally complex.

Ryanverse’s charismatic leading man has also been the focus of five Hollywood films. Actors Alec Baldwin, Harrison Ford, Ben Affleck and Chris Pine have all portrayed the iconic character at various stages of his career. Now, John Krasinski takes up the role in Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan, playing a gifted-analyst-turned-reluctant-action-hero thrown into a global terrorism conspiracy. Watch the trailer of Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan below.


Jack Ryan is now streaming on Amazon Prime Video. You can watch it here.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Amazon Prime Video and not by the Scroll editorial team.