"In April, the judiciary arrested a senior Iranian official after a video posted online that showed young boys and girls dancing in public in the northeastern holy Shi'ite city of Mashhad for undermining public decency".
Hojabri had been dancing in a public forum, which is frowned upon in conservative Iranian circles, and doing so without the headscarf prescribed by Iran's clerical rulers.
Iranian Instagram celebrity and dancer Maedeh Hojabri would have been just another teenager in most parts of the world: operating multiple social media accounts and uploading videos of herself dancing.
Meanwhile, another Iranian woman was reportedly sentence to 20 years in prison for removing her headscarf in protest in December. Maedeh is one of so many courageous Iranians fighting for their human rights.
Maedeh Hojabri had posted several videos to her popular Instagram account of her dancing in her bedroom to Iranian and Western music. In the Middle Eastern country it is illegal for women to dance or be seen without a hijab in public. I did not want to encourage others to do the same ... "I did not work with a network", a crying Hojabri told TV on Friday. Others say the authorities can not ruin people's fun.
The police have stated that they have plans to shut down similar accounts on Instagram, and the judiciary is now formulating regulations that may severely limit, or completely block the website altogether. Sharing her own dancing clip, @Marun_1 said:"usually I don't share pictures and videos but today is an important day". The social media site is one of the only Western social media outlets allowed - Facebook and Twitter are blocked. "I only do gymnastics".
A blogger, Hossein Ronaghi, told The Guardian, "People would laugh at you if you tell anyone in the world that [in Iran] they arrest 17-year-olds and 18-year-olds for dancing, being happy and being lovely, for spreading indecency, and instead paedophiles are free". Videos similar to Hojabri's appear daily on social media accounts by women head banging to dubstep, ridden, or lip syncing the lyrics to their favorite songs.
The Times quoted a hard-line analyst in Iran, Hamidreza Taraghi: "Instagram started out as an innocent tool, available on the internet, where people would upload photos and write some words".
The police said the campaign was being pushed by Persian-language satellite TV networks based overseas, purportedly encouraging women participants to take their white headscarves off in protest of the country's strict Islamic modesty laws. Their identities are still unknown and all of them were reportedly released on bail.