Singer Selena Gomez has taken to social media to commend five Iranian teenage girls who danced to her track featuring fellow musician Rema and were subsequently detained by police – according to reports.
The video is understood to have been filmed near a tower block in Ekbatan, a town in Tehran, and released last week to coincide with International Women’s Day. It soon went viral on TikTok.
Women are banned from dancing in Iran, and uncovering their hair in public (in other words, they must wear a hijab). As well as moving and twerking in the video, all five of them have their hair down.
Since then, the Twitter account Shahrak Ekbatan, which reports on the town, claimed the girls were arrested by the authorities, held for two days and “forced” into making a confession video with their hair covered.
`Commenting on the news in an Instagram Story, Gomez shared a news article and wrote: “[Love] to these young women and all the women of Iran who continue to be courageous demanding fundamental changes. Please know your strength is inspiring.”
Rema added on Twitter: “To all the beautiful women who are fighting for a better world, I’m inspired by you, I sing for you and I dream for you.”
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The incident has reignited international condemnation over the country’s policing of women’s bodies, which intensified in September after 22-year-old Mahsa Amini died while in the custody of Iran’s so-called ‘morality police’.
Women around the world – including British-Iranian national Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who was detained in Iran for six years - filmed themselves cutting their hair as a mark of solidarity, while protesters in Iran were seen burning hijabs in protest.
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