Five teenage girls have been arrested in Iran after dancing to a Selena Gomez song without headscarves.
The Islamic republic enforces strict laws regarding dancing and other forms of public entertainment, particularly for females.
A short video shows the teenagers dressed in Western clothing moving to ‘Calm Down’, a remix of the Afrobeats hit by Nigerian singer Rema and popstar Gomez.
The clip was filmed in Ekbatan Town in western Tehran and coincided with International Women’s Day on March 8, and has been described as an act of defiance against the Iranian regime.
Gomez shared the video and news of their detention on her Instagram page.
She wrote: ‘To these young women and all the women of Iran who continue to be courageous demanding fundamental changes, please know your strength is inspiring.’
It comes after journalist and filmmaker Maziar Bahari wrote online: ‘This is an ordinary scene in most cities around the world. But in Iran, it’s an act of defiance.’
After the clip did the rounds, the Twitter account Shahrak-e Ekbatan reported that the girls’ dance instructor, surnamed Mitra, had been interrogated.
The account, which covers neighbourhood news, also reported that the girls had been issued a ‘warning’ over the video.
Iranian press has since reported that the girls had been detained following the stunt.
Mass protests have been seen in the country in the last six months, since the death in custody of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Iranian Kurd who had been arrested for an alleged breach of the strict dress code for women.
The ensuing violence claimed the lives of hundreds of people, including dozens of security personnel, and saw thousands more arrested.[via]