Iranian authorities have blocked the Instagram page of an old man whose singing and dancing videos in public had gone viral over the past days.
The page has been blocked over its “production of criminal content,” Iran’s judiciary said on Thursday. According to reports, all the posts in his Instagram page, with 128,000 followers, were removed.
Iran’s cyber-police has published a new post on his page, warning that it monitors “the criminal activities of the users.” Iran’s clerical regime has become more strict in enforcing their religious laws that do not allow public dancing and singing.
A human rights group identified the old man as Sadegh Bana Motajadded, adding that he formerly served as a fan leader for Sepidrood, a famous football club in the northern city of Rasht, Gilan province.
He found fame a few days ago after some of his videos in Rasht’s fish market went viral. The videos showed him singing and dancing while male and female onlookers joined him by clapping and dancing.
The videos were well received by Instagram users in Iran who thanked the old man for his attempt to make people happy.
On Tuesday, Hossein Hassanpour, deputy chief of Gilan province police, had announced that 12 people were arrested and charged in relation to the release of these videos.
They are accused of “breaking the norms and publicizing it on social and satellite networks,” he said, adding that their recording and publishing the videos of people singing and dancing is an “outrage against public decency.”
Instagram and Twitter users in Iran have strongly condemned the arrests, saying the Islamic Republic is essentially against happiness and hope.