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HomeNewsCouple Jailed 10 Years for Viral Dancing Video

Couple Jailed 10 Years for Viral Dancing Video

Couple Jailed 10 Years for Viral Dancing Video

A young couple who danced in front of one of Tehran’s main landmarks were sentenced to more than ten years in prison by an Iranian court on Tuesday, activists said.


Astiyazh Haghighi and her fiance, Amir Mohammad Ahmadi, were arrested in early November after a video of them dancing romantically in front of the capital’s Azadi Tower went viral.

In defiance of the Islamic republic’s strict rules for women, Haghighi did not wear a headscarf, and women are also not allowed to dance in public, let alone with a man, in Iran.

According to the US-based Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA), a revolutionary court in Tehran sentenced them to ten years and six months in prison, as well as bans on using the Internet and leaving Iran.

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The couple, who were already well-known in Tehran as popular Instagram bloggers, were found guilty of “encouraging corruption and public prostitution” as well as “gathering with the intent of disrupting national security,” according to the statement.

According to HRANA, they were denied access to lawyers during the court proceedings, and attempts to secure their release on bail were unsuccessful.

According to the group, Haghighi is now in the notorious Qarchak women’s prison outside of Tehran. Activists frequently condemn the facility’s conditions.

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Iranian authorities have cracked down hard on all forms of dissent since the death in September of Mahsa Amini, who was arrested for allegedly violating the headscarf rules, sparked protests that grew into a movement against the regime.

According to the United Nations, at least 14,000 people have been arrested, ranging from prominent celebrities, journalists, and lawyers to ordinary citizens who took to the streets.

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The couple’s video was hailed as a symbol of the liberties demanded by the protest movement, with Ahmadi lifting his partner in the air while her long hair flowed behind.

The massive and futuristic Azadi (Freedom) Tower, one of the main icons of the Iranian capital, is a sensitive location.

It was known as the Shahyad (In Memory of the Shah) Tower when it first opened in the early 1970s during the reign of the last shah, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.

It was renamed after the Shah was deposed and the Islamic republic was established in 1979. Its designer, a follower of the Bahai faith, which is not recognized in modern Iran, now lives in exile.

HRANA also reported that Armita Abbasi, a young Iranian woman whose case has sparked international concern, went on trial on Sunday after being arrested in October during protests in the city of Karaj outside Tehran.

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CNN reported in November, citing leaks and an anonymous medical source, that she was rushed to the hospital after being raped while in custody. The allegations have been denied by Iranian authorities.

According to HRANA and Iranian media on Tuesday, Abbasi’s lawyer Shahla Oroji, Abbasi was charged with propaganda against the system, and the court refused to grant bail.

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