Iranian couple handed prison sentence for dancing in the streets


An Iranian couple dancing in the central square of the capital Tehran was sentenced to a long prison term after a video that went viral on social networks.

In a video that has gone viral on social media, 21-year-old Astiyazh Haghighi can be seen dancing without a hijab with her fiance Amir Muhammad Ahmadi, 22, at Azadi Square. The video was released by the couple themselves.

According to the activist group Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA), each was charged with “spreading corruption and lawlessness” and “gathering and conspiring to undermine national security.”

However, Mizan, a news agency affiliated with Iran’s judiciary, reported that each person was sentenced to five years in prison on charges of “gathering and conspiring to undermine national security.”

Mizan Online also reported that the two men were accused of inciting people to gather and rioting in a post they shared on Instagram on October 26.

According to HRANA, Judge Abolgasem Salavati presided over their case and imposed the sentences, along with a two-year ban on posting videos on social media and a two-year travel ban.

A source told CNN that security forces raided the couple’s home in the early hours of October 30 and took them for questioning and then transferred them to prison.

HRANA reports that Haqiqi was first sent to ward 209 of Evin prison, but then transferred to Garchag women’s prison, where she is currently detained. Both Haghighi and his partner have been denied access to a lawyer.

Haghighi and Ahmadi each have close to a million followers on Instagram and also have separate YouTube channels with more than half a million followers combined.

This happened after nationwide protests erupted in the country over the killing in custody of Mahsa Amini, a young woman accused of violating the country’s mandatory hijab laws. Iran has cracked down on security forces by executing protesters accused of killing them, which critics say is the result of hasty sham trials.

Their long sentences have been compared by critics to that of Iranian Sajjad Heydar, who beheaded his wife last year. According to the country’s semi-official Khabar Online website, Heydari, who killed his 17-year-old wife in February 2022, was sentenced to a total of 8 years and two months in prison.


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