The Reason Iranian Teenagers Are Risking Jail And Dancing In Public

iranian dancing vocativ screenshot

By Amanda Froelich / Truth Theory

Dancing isn’t just a form of entertainment for those who venture to clubs on the weekends, it is a form of communication that has roots all over the world. However, in Iran, women are at risk of being arrested for dancing in public. This is because the country has strict laws against females dancing in front of men who aren’t family members.

The ban is so strict, several people have been arrested over the past several years. Maedeh Hojabri, for instance, captivated thousands of followers on Instagram with videos of herself dancing to Western pop and Iranian music. But when authorities found out, she was taken into custody.

Social media users quickly championed the hashtag #dancing_isn’t_a_crime to protest the unjust action. Teenagers, specifically women, also began recording and uploading footage of themselves dancing in public, oftentimes without the mandatory hijab.

Though arrests have been taking place for several years, the movement gained greater attention when Vocativ shared the video below mid-2018. Now, millions of people are aware that teenagers can be penalized for dancing in public.

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! Because for them, it’s unbelievable!” wrote blogger Hossein Ronaghi.

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According to the BBC, men are also likely to be arrested for dancing in public. Earlier this year, an official in the city of Mashhad was arrested after footage emerged revealing a crowd of men and women dancing at a mall in the city. And in August, six people were arrested for Zumba dancing.

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