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Iranian couple sentenced to 10.5 years in prison for dancing in the street

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Iranian couple

A beloved Iranian couple have been sentenced to more than 10 years in prison for dancing in a viral video that angered the ruling Islamic State regime.

Astiyazh Haghighi, 21, and her fiancé Amir Mohammad Ahmad, 22, were seen in the clip doing a romantic twirl in front of Azadi Tower, one of Tehran’s main landmarks.

They were arrested in early November because women are not allowed to dance in public in Iran, let alone with a man, Agence France-Presse reported.

Haghighi also appeared in the video without a headscarf, in solidarity with protests over the September death of Mahsa Amini, 22, after her arrest for breaking strict hijab rules.

Haghighi and his companion were sentenced this week to 10 and a half years in prison each by a revolutionary court in Tehran, the American press agency Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) announced.

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The couple – both popular on Instagram – were found guilty of “inciting corruption and public prostitution” as well as “gathering with intent to disrupt national security”, the court heard.

Footage from a viral video of Astiyazh Haghighi, 21, and her fiancé Amir Mohammad Ahmad, 22, dancing in Tehran.
Astiyazh Haghighi and Amir Mohammad Ahmad danced with Haghighi’s hair flowing freely and in defiance of rules prohibiting women from dancing in public.
UGC/AFP via Getty Images

They were also banned from using the internet and from leaving Iran, according to reports.

Sources close to their families said they had been deprived of lawyers during the legal proceedings, AFP reported.

Haghighi is believed to be held in the notorious Qarchak women’s prison outside Tehran, the conditions of which are regularly denounced by activists, AFP said.

It is only the latest crackdown on those protesting the regime’s brutality against women that has seen at least 14,000 arrests, according to the United Nations.

In November, just months after the brutal crackdown on protests began, Volker Türk, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said Iran was “now in a human rights crisis. full man”.

The protests, using the slogan #WomanLifeFreedom, began in September when Amini died in the custody of vice squad who arrested her for “inappropriate dress”.

Authorities say she suffered a heart attack after being taken to a post to be “educated”, but her family said she had no heart problems and was covered in bruises.

Hundreds of people have been killed in the unrest so far – some protesters have been put to death – while thousands more have been arrested, including top journalists and Iranian figures.

The hijab became compulsory four years after the 1979 revolution established the Islamic Republic of Iran.

With post wires

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