Three Iranian women arrested for dancing in cemetery in online video

Three Iranian women arrested for dancing in cemetery in online video
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The three Iranian women, who were arrested, expressed 'remorse and apologies for committing an act against social norms'.
Dancing in Iran is no illegal, but people can face prosecution if they dance in public or online [Getty]

Iranian police arrested three young women after a video online showed them dancing in a cemetery, the prosecutor in the northeastern city of Neyshabur said Saturday according to local media.

"Following the publication of a video on the internet of three girls dancing in the cemetery of the martyrs of Neyshabur in Razavi Khorasan province, the prosecutor ordered the identification and arrest of the defendants," the Tasnim news agency reported.

"The emotions of the families of the martyrs were hurt", prosecutor Mohammad Hosseini said, adding that the three women had been arrested.

The trio expressed "remorse and apologies for committing an act against social norms", he added.

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Dancing in Iran is not a crime, but legal experts say that if some someone dances in public or on the internet in a manner seen as offending public decency, they can face prosecution.

Iran's judiciary and security forces are dominated by hard-liners who launch periodic crackdowns on behaviour they deemed "un-Islamic".

There have been several instances over the years where Iranian women were arrested for dancing in public or online. In 2018, 18-year-old gymnast Maedeh Hojabri, was apprehended then released on bail for posting 300 videos of her dancing in both Iranian and Western styles on her Instagram page.

In the same year, authorities will looked to prosecute the organisers of a Women's Day event in the capital Tehran, after young girls were shown dancing on stage at the mixed gender festival.

In 2014, seven young Iranians were arrested for dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy in a home-made video that went viral on the internet,