Iranian woman dances without hijab defying country's laws

 An Iranian woman has defied the country`s ultra-restrictive laws by dancing publicly without her hijab (veil), and what is more, it was filmed and posted on social media.

IANS| Updated: Nov 28, 2014, 16:03 PM IST

Tehran: An Iranian woman has defied the country`s ultra-restrictive laws by dancing publicly without her hijab (veil), and what is more, it was filmed and posted on social media.

The unidentified young woman, who could be seen dancing on a Tehran subway train to a song by the British pop group "Little Mix", has thrown an open challenge to the laws in Iran, where dancing in public is prohibited, The Independent reported Thursday.

This is another case of a woman standing up to her rights in the ultra-conservative country, where a British-Iranian woman, Ghoncheh Ghavami, was arrested and sentenced to a year in jail for "propagating against the ruling system" after she and a group of other women had tried to attend a men`s volleyball match June 20. Ghavami has been granted bail this month.

The young woman`s dancing is all the more brave in the light of a group of seven young Iranian men and women being given suspended prison sentences and 91 lashes after posting their home-made "Happy in Tehran" music video on YouTube. 

The viral video of the woman dancing on the subway train was posted on the Facebook page of the "Stealthy Freedoms of Iranian Women", which has over 700,000 followers.

The Stealthy Freedoms page is run by Iranian journalist Masih Alinejad, who left Iran to pursue her studies in Britain in 2009 and now lives in the US.

Alinejad said the dancing video is symbolic of a wider cultural movement stirring the young people in Iran, who are resisting the government`s laws on clothing and behaviour. 

She declined to provide any information about the woman featured in the video over fears for her safety, The Independent report said.

Alinejad said young Iranian men and women are fighting back restrictive measures enforced by the Iranian government, through dance and song.

"Everyday in Iran there is a cultural war between the Iranian government and young people," she explained. 

"There are two different lifestyles -- one for those who want to just dance, listen to music, watch volleyball, and (the other for) those who want to control this society and its happy people," she added.

"Facebook and social media are showing a hidden face of Iran that is never seen in the (mainstream) media... On Iranian television, it`s all women in black, but on social media, it`s women without head scarves and wearing colourful clothing, dancing and singing," she said.