Concern grows after teenagers in Iran danced to a Selena Gomez song in a viral TikTok

Concern grows after teenagers in Iran danced to a Selena Gomez song in a viral TikTok

Concern grew in the Islamic Republic of Iran on Tuesday after five young Iranian women filmed themselves dancing to a song by Selena Gomez without wearing headscarves (hijab) in a viral TikTok video.

Iranian authorities arrested the five teenage women and coerced them into filming a video repenting their actions, highlighting that dancing in public is illegal in Iran.

The teenage girls filmed a video of themselves dancing to “Calm Down” by Selena Gomez and Nigerian singer Rema in front of a tower block in Tehran, the capital of Iran. They recorded the video on March 8 — International Women’s Day — and posted it on TikTok. In the video, these women were wearing crop tops and none were wearing hijabs.

According to the Italian newspaper la Repubblica, the TikTok video went viral on social media. Subsequently, Iranian police used CCTV footage of the incident and interrogated security guards at the tower block to find the teenagers. The women reportedly shot the video in the Tehran residential district of Ekbatan.

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On Tuesday, human rights and women rights activists said that the teenage women had been detained and forced into making a video of apology. The activists from the Ekbatan area said that Iranian authorities had asked residents in the area if they knew these women. Later on, the authorities arrested these women.

According to Fox News, Iranian authorities forced the young girls to record a second video of themselves repenting, with their heads covered with Hijabs.

Abolition of the compulsory headscarf (hijab) rule has been one of the main demands of the protest movement that erupted in September 2022 after the death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Iranian-Kurdish woman, in police custody. She had been arrested by the country’s morality police for allegedly violating the dress code and wearing a loose hijab.



Raven Ruma is a professional journalist with a keen eye on domestic and foreign situations. His favorite pastime is to keep the public informed about the current situation through his pen and he is fulfilling this responsibility through the platform of Arab News.

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