The Iranian government inadvertently started a protest movement on social media this week when they arrested 18-year-old Maedeh Hojabri for uploading dance videos on Instagram, which supposedly “broke moral norms”.
Now, Iranian women are posting videos (above and below) of themselves dancing on the streets of Iran or in their own homes, with hashtags like “#DancingIsNotACrime” and “#DanceToFreedom”.
This wasn’t the first time – in 2014, Iranian police arrested six people for posting a video (below) of themselves dancing to Pharrell William’s Happy. And, according to Shabooneh, a local news website, Hojabri wasn’t the only individual arrested on such charges – there were three others.
Iranian women aren’t alone in their protest. Amnesty International UK also joined the protest with dance videos of their own, and so did a few Iranian men. The message was unanimous – “Dancing is not a crime”.
Even in the past, Iranian women have protested against Iran’s strict modesty laws by performing dance forms like the Melbourne shuffle, or by dancing on the Tehran metro.