By Biodun Busari
Five young Iranian ladies who danced to Nigerian Afrobeat singer and rapper, Divine Ikubor, professionally known as Rema’s song ‘Calm Down’ have been allegedly arrested.
The video of the five girls went viral on Tuesday for dancing to Rema’s hit song without headscarves.
The Times of Israel reported that there are anxieties about their well-being for filming themselves dancing as they were arrested and forced into confessing by Iran’s authorities.
The footage showed the women dancing and slightly showing their stomachs, near highrise buildings in the Tehran residential district of Ekbatan to the song.
It spread widely on TikTok and other social media channels last week around International Women’s Day on March 8.
Activists, apparently from the Ekbatan area, first posted the video on Telegram and Twitter. They said authorities had been asking residents in the area if they knew the women, based on the footage, The Times of Israel said.
On Tuesday, the activists alleged the women had been detained and forced into making a video in which they expressed regret.
In the Islamic Republic, it is illegal for women to dance in public as well as to not wear the Islamic headscarf.
Abolition of the obligatory headscarf rule has been one of the chief demands of the civil unrest that erupted in September after the death of Mahsa Amini, 22, who had been arrested for allegedly violating the dress code.
This video of Iranian girls in Tehran’s Ekbatan neighbourhood dancing unveiled to the song Calm Down by Rema and Selena Gomez has gone viral.
After the initial viral footage of the five, another video emerged on social media of four women, their heads fully covered, stepping forward one by one to express regret.
It appeared to have been filmed in a similar Ekbatan area, but neither the video nor the circumstances in which it was made could be verified.
Whether the women had been released was also not immediately clear.
Ekbatan, a middle-income area popular with young professionals and families, saw repeated anti-regime actions in the past few months.
Rema retweeted the video of the women dancing with their long hair uncovered and commented: “To all the beautiful women who are fighting for a better world, I’m inspired by you, I sing for you and I dream with you.”
The song “Calm Down” became a global hit after Rema issued a remix with superstar Selena Gomez.
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