With more than 100,000 subscribers on her official Instagram account, Maedeh Hojabri is the only girl that was identified. The state’s official television aired a program on Friday in which the young woman admitted to breaking moral standards by insisting that it was not her intention, and was only trying to get more subscribers. Confessions called forced by several activists.
« It was not to attract attention, » she said crying. « I had subscribers and these videos were for them. I had no intention of encouraging others to do the same … I did not work with a team, I did not receive any training. I only do gymnastics.
The case of the young Iranian sparked a wave of indignation on social networks. Several internet users started to publish dance videos. The young woman posted about 300 videos on her account, many of them showing her dancing to Iranian and Western rhythms. She also appeared in the videos without wearing the mandatory Islamic headscarf in Iran. Her videos harvested between 12,000 and 66,000 likes.
According to local news site Shabooneh, Iranian police have also announced plans to suspend the Instagram accounts of these young women and plans to block access to the site.
As a reminder, Iran has already blocked access to many social networks, including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and the Telegram email application. Millions of Iranians continue to use the sites via proxies and VPNs. In 2014, the authorities sentenced six men and women to suspended prison sentences after appearing in a dance video on Pharrell Williams’ song « Happy ».