A group of Iranian teen girls who published a video dancing to the tune of a Selena Gomez song were detained and pressured into making a false confession.
Citing a post from the Twitter account Shahrak Ekbatan, news site Radio Farda reported that the five girls were initially summoned and received a warning, and later, called in again and detained for two days before being pressured into making a forced confession.
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A blurry image shared alongside the same tweet showed all five of the teens now covered in headscarves and with their heads lowered.
دختران اکباتان که فیلم رقصشون جهانی شد بعد تذکری که گرفتن باز قوه قضاییه خواستتشون و ۲روز بازداشت بودن.— شهرک اکباتان (@shahrak_ekbatan) March 13, 2023
حالا ازشون اعتراف اجباری گرفته شده و تو پیج مربی رقص خانوم میترا آپلود شده.
زورشون به دخترامون رسیده؟
بهشون نشون میدیم چه خبره!#بچه_های_اکباتان #مهسا_امينی pic.twitter.com/kFiO6NkHDu
Shortly after the video, shot in Ekbatan town west of Tehran, gained traction online the five girls were sought by security forces.
They were dancing to the famous Selena Gomez song with Rema, Calm Down, without a headscarf which is mandatory for women in Iran.
The now-trending video was published on International Women’s Day.
The search by Iranian security forces for the girls was confirmed by the Shahrak Ekbatan Twitter account which posts about events and incidents in the neighborhood. It had warned of possible arrest and detention.
The authorities reportedly viewed CCTV footage and questioned the guards at the property. It is not clear whether the dance was a form of protest.
A similar incident in February where a young couple was dancing near Tehran’s Azadi Square led to a prison-sentence.
Iran: A 21-y-o couple have been sentenced to 10 years in jail each for dancing at the foot of Tehran's Azadi (Freedom) Tower, sources close to them tell @nimnia11. Regime is handing out heavy sentences to anyone defying its strict rules. #آستیاژ_حقیقی #امیرمحمد_احمدی #مهسا_امینی pic.twitter.com/F0ahwzJhA1— Khosro Kalbasi Isfahani (@KhosroKalbasi) January 30, 2023
Iran sentenced the couple to five years each for backing anti-regime protests. Astiyazh Haghighi and her fiance Amir-Mohammad Ahmadi, both in their early 20s, were charged with “collusion against national security” for “encouraging” protests on Instagram, where they have a large following.
More and more women in Iran have been defying the regime’s strict dress rules since anti-regime protests that followed the September death in police custody of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year Iranian Kurdish woman who had been arrested over an alleged violation of the dress rules for women.
In some cities, women took off and burned their headscarves at the peak of the protests in late 2022.
Al Arabiya English’s Yaghoub Fazeli contributed to this report.