Five teens arrested for dancing to Selena Gomez song in Iran

Five teenage girls have been arrested by the Iranian morality police, after they danced to a viral TikTok song.
The teenagers had been dancing in public and had not worn a hijab, both of which are punishable by law currently.

Their detainment comes less than a year after the brutal death of Mahsa Amini, which sparked mass protests against the brutal government of the Islamic Republic.

Although social media is highly restricted in the Middle Eastern state, the five teenagers had hoped to mark International Women’s Day with their TikTok video.

Posing outside of an apartment block in Ekbatan, Tehran, the girls filmed themselves dancing Calm Down by Selena Gomez and Rema.

The footage quickly gained the attention of the country’s morality police and having identified the building, the young women were then detained on January 10.

Though details are still unclear, it’s likely that the teenagers were charged with ‘waging war against God’ – a crime often reserved for those who oppose the Islamic Republic.

After their arrest, the girls were forced to confess to their ‘crimes’ and were made to sign a statement saying they would not re-offend – a common tool of intimidation by police.
Young people across Iran have reacted angrily to the arrests, as they made their own video in a brave act of defiance against the dictatorship.

There were similar reports after the death of Mahsa Amini in September 2022, who was arrested for wearing an ‘improper hijab’.

At the time, she was just 22 years old and her tragic death sparked wide-spread protests across the country, as people revolted against the harsh rules of the Islamic Republic.

It’s estimated that 500 others have died and 19,000 people have been arrested, as the government tries to retain it’s oppressive control.

The government’s actions have been condemned by the international community, with unity protests across the world and the trending hashtag: women, life, freedom
As recently as two days ago, there were new anti-government protests in Iran as the nation’s young people celebrated a traditional holiday.

Whilst Iranians marked ‘red Wednesday’, they threw fireworks at members of the morality police, threw hijabs into fires and chanted against the country’s supreme leader, Ali Khamenei.

State-run news agencies also reported that 26 more civilians were killed in the ensuing chaos, with at least 4,000 other injured during the annual festival.

Red Wednesday is one of the few pre-Islamic holidays still celebrated in Iran, with the nation’s people taking it as an opportunity to rise up once more

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