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Iranian couple sentenced to 10 years in prison for viral dance video


An Iranian court has sentenced a young couple to more than ten years in prison for dancing in front of one of Tehran's main landmarks

Astiyazh Haghighi and her fiancé Amir Mohammad Ahmadi will spend their next years in prison.

They had been arrested in November after a video of them dancing romantically in front of the Azadi Tower in Tehran went viral.

The young woman did not wear an Islamic veil, thus defying the strict rules of the Islamic Republic regarding women, who are also not allowed to dance in public in Iran, let alone with a man.

A revolutionary court in Tehran sentenced them to ten and a half years in prison, as well as being banned from using the internet and from leaving Iran, the NGO Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA), based in the United States, reported. United States.

Popular on Instagram, the young couple was found guilty of "encouraging corruption and public prostitution", as well as "gathering with the intention of disrupting national security", added the NGO.


They danced before the Azadi (freedom) Tower in Tehran.

Then they were arrested in Nov. #AstiyazhHaghighi, 21, & Amir Mohammad Ahmadi, bloggers, are now sentenced to 10 yrs in prison, & 2 yrs ban from leaving Iran & using social media.

#MahsaAmini #مهسا_امینی #آستیاژ_حقیقی

— Omid Memarian (@Omid_M) January 30, 2023

Citing sources close to their families, HRANA said that Astiyazh Haghighi and Amir Mohammad Ahmadi, both in their twenties, were deprived of a lawyer during the legal proceedings and that attempts to obtain their release under bail were rejected.

The NGO specifies that Astiyazh Haghighi is in the famous Qarchak women's prison, whose conditions of detention are regularly condemned by human rights activists.

At least 14,000 arrests

Iranian authorities have cracked down harshly on all forms of dissent since the death of Mahsa Amini in September, which sparked a wave of protests against the regime.

At least 14,000 people have been arrested since, according to the United Nations, including celebrities, journalists, lawyers and ordinary citizens.

The video of this couple had been hailed as a symbol of the freedoms claimed by the protest movement.

Known as one of the main attractions of the Iranian capital, the gigantic and futuristic Azadi ("freedom") tower is a sensitive place for power.

It was inaugurated during the reign of the last Shah of Iran, Mohammed Reza Pahlavi (1941-1979), in the early 1970s, and was then known as the Shahyad ("in memory of the Shah") tower.

It was renamed when the Islamic Republic was created in 1979.

Read alsoIn France, a rebel nephew of Ayatollah Khamenei: "So much the better if they didn't kill me, I can talk"

In a separate case, Armita Abbasi, a 20-year-old Iranian woman, went on trial on Sunday after she was arrested in October during protests in the city of Karaj near Tehran.

CNN, citing leaks and an unnamed medical source, reported in November that she had been taken to hospital after being raped while in custody.

Allegations denied by the Iranian authorities.

His lawyer Shahla Oroji said Armita Abbasi was charged with propaganda against the system and the court refused to release her on bail.

Source: leparis

All news articles on 2023-01-31

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