In Iran, a couple sentenced to 10 years in prison after a dance video went viral, according to an NGO

An Iranian court has sentenced a young couple to more than 10 years in prison for dancing outside one of Tehran’s main landmarks in a video seen as a symbol of defiance of the regime, Iranian human rights activists said this week. Tuesday, January 31.

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

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Astiyazh Haghighi did not wear an Islamic veil, defying the Islamic Republic’s strict rules 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 10.5 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, said. United States.

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Popular on Instagram, the couple were found guilty of“encouraging corruption and public prostitution”as well as “gathering with intent to disrupt national security”added the NGO.

Citing sources close to their families, HRANA said they were denied a lawyer during the legal proceedings and attempts to obtain their release on bail were rejected.

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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.

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.

The Azadi tower, a sensitive place for power

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

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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 Tower (“in memory of the shah”). It was renamed when the Islamic Republic was created in 1979.

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.

US channel 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 accused of propaganda against the system and the court refused to release her on bail.

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Source : Nouvelobs

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