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Iran jails couple in viral dancing video

By AFP
February 01, 2023

PARIS: An Iranian court has handed jail sentences of over 10 years each to a young couple who danced in front of one of Tehran´s main landmarks in a video seen as a symbol of defiance against the regime, activists said on Tuesday.

Astiyazh Haghighi and her fiance Amir Mohammad Ahmadi, both in their early 20s, had been arrested in early November after a video went viral of them dancing romantically in front of the Azadi Tower in Tehran.

Haghighi did not wear a headscarf in defiance of the Islamic republic´s strict rules for women, while women are also not allowed to dance in public in Iran, let alone with a man. A revolutionary court in Tehran sentenced them each to 10 years and six months in prison, as well as bans on using the Internet and leaving Iran, the US-based Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) said.

The couple, who already had a following in Tehran as popular Instagram bloggers, were convicted of “encouraging corruption and public prostitution” as well as “gathering with the intention of disrupting national security”, it added.

HRANA cited sources close to their families as saying they had been deprived of lawyers during the court proceedings while attempts to secure their release on bail have been rejected.