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Three Young Women Arrested In Iran For Publishing Their Dance Videos

Screen grab from one of the young women who posted their dance videos on Instagram.
Screen grab from one of the young women who posted their dance videos on Instagram.

Three young women who posted their own dance videos on Instagram were arrested in Iran on October 8 and will be tried in court.

Dancing in public is strictly forbidden in the Islamic Republic of Iran but uploading footage of one's dancing on social media is a faux pas that takes it a step further and turns the "crime" into an "enemy plot."

The conservatives in Iran have repeatedly insisted that the "enemy" (the U.S.A. and its allies) is encouraging Iranian youth to publish "disgraceful" posts, such as dancing, on social media.

Therefore, the clergy-dominated judiciary of the country does not hesitate to issue harsh sentences against those who circulate “deplorable” images of dancing on social media.

A website affiliated with the Islamic Republic monopolized and state-owned Radio and TV network, Young Journalists Club (YJC) reported on Tuesday that the three, dubbed as "Instagram Dancers", would be tried soon in a court presided by the head of the 28th branch of Tehran's Islamic Revolutionary Court, Mohammad Moqisseh (Moghiseh).

The video in this tweet is said to show Sahra Afsharian dancing.

Based on international human rights organizations, Moqisseh is one of the judges who frequently issues harsh verdicts against journalists, civil and political activists under the influence of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps' fearsome intelligence organization.

Meanwhile, Moqisseh is set to preside over another case that will try a popular singer, Mohsen Lorestani.

Nonetheless, YJC has noted that the cases of "Instagram dancers" and Lorestani are not connected.

While YJC has not named the "Instagram Dancers," it was earlier reported on social media that three young girls, Sahra Afsharian, Sara Shariatmadari, and Niloufar Moti'ei had been arrested for uploading their dancing on Instagram.

Sahra Afsharian, renowned as an expert in Shuffle dancing, has more than 95k followers on Instagram.

In the meantime, YJC cited the attorney of a famous provincial crooner, Mohsen Lorestani, as saying that his client has been charged with "corruption on earth," which could be punishable by death.

"Three others related to Mr. Lorestani's case have also been arrested," the singer's attorney, Kazem Hosseini, said.

A resident of mainly Kurdish province of Kermanshah, western Iran, Mohsen Lorestani is renowned for performing traditional songs of Lorestan.

Although Lorestani has been charged with "corruption on earth," but LGBTQ rights activists believe that his only crime is being homosexual.

A BBC reporter, Ali Hamadani, says that since they have accused Lorestani of being gay, he could face the death penalty.

Hundreds of gay people have been hanged in Iran since the Islamic Revolution toppled the country's last monarch, Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, in 1979.