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Iran: Young Couple Jailed For 10 Years Over A Dance Video, Says Report

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An Iranian court has sentenced 10 years of jail each to a young couple for a dance video shot in front of Azadi (Freedom) Tower, one of Tehran’s prominent landmarks, viewed as a symbol of opposition against the regime, activists said on Tuesday.

In their early 20s, the couple, Astiyazh Haghighi and her fiancé Amir Mohammad, was arrested in early November following a video of the couple going viral which showed them dancing romantically in front of the Azadi Tower in Tehran.

Women in Iran are not allowed to dance in public even with a man. In addition, Haghighi was not wearing a headscarf in violation of the Islamic republic’s stringent norms for women.

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA), based in the US, said that Tehran’s revolutionary court has sentenced each of them to 10 years and six months of jail, along with a ban on using the Internet, while they are also not permitted to leave the country.

Also, the engaged couple who were popular in Tehran as Instagram bloggers, were accused of “encouraging corruption and public prostitution” and “gathering to disrupt national security”.

HRANA stated, from the sources close to their families saying that they were divested of lawyers during court trials while their efforts to be released on bail were declined.

Haghighi is stationed in the Qarchak prison for women located outside Tehran, the prison said to be infamous and is condemned by activists.

Iranian authorities have put an end to all forms of defiance after the death of Mahsa Amini in September, who was arrested for violating the headscarf rules which led to a massive protests, leading to a movement against the authorities.

According to the United Nations, at least 14,000 people were arrested including celebrities, journalists, lawyers and common people who joined the movement.

The couple’s video was viewed as a symbol of freedom asked by the protest movement. At one moment, the video shows Ahamdi lifting his partner in the air with her long hair exposed.

Azadi Tower

Azadi (Freedom)Tower, one of the prominent landmarks of the Iranian capital, is a place of high respect and sensitivity.

The landmark was opened in the early 1970s under the rule of the last shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. Earlier the landmark was referred to as the Shahyad ( In Memory of the Shah) Tower.

It was given its current name, Azadi Tower, after the shah was expelled in 1979 with the creation of the Islamic republic. Its architect, a member of the Baha’i faith which is not acknowledged today in the country, is in exile.

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