More than 10 years in prison for Iranian couple for dance video

More than 10 years in prison for Iranian couple for dance video



The couple was arrested in November after a video of them romantically dancing in front of Tehran’s Azadi Tower went viral. The Iranian authorities also banned the couple from using the Internet and leaving the country


Iranian authorities have sentenced a young couple to more than ten years in prison for dancing in front of a Tehran memorial. According to human rights activists, Astyazh Haqiji and her fiance Amir Mohammad Ahmadi were given this sentence because a dance video of theirs came out. The couple was arrested in November last year after sharing a video of their romantic dance in front of the Azadi Tower in the Iranian capital on social media. This video went viral

In defiance of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s strict dress code and in the wake of months of anti-hijab protests, Haqiji performed the dance without a headscarf. In Iran, women are also prohibited from dancing and singing in public, and there is a strict prohibition against doing so in particular with a man.


 At the time of the incident, the couple was already popular on social media websites in Iran, and their video was also portrayed as a symbol of the ongoing protest movement in the country against the hijab and human rights abuses.


Results of video sharing


According to Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA), a US-based human rights group, the couple was sentenced to 10 years and six months in prison. They also face bans from using the internet and leaving the country.


Family acquaintances of the couple were quoted as saying that the two were prosecuted without being given the right to legal representation. Efforts to get him released on bail were also rejected by a court.


Haqiji is now in Qarchak Prison, a notorious women’s prison outside Tehran. General conditions in Qarchak prison are regularly condemned by human rights activists

A wider background to the arrests


In Iran, after the death of a young Kurdish woman, Mehsa Amini, in the custody of the country’s moral police in September last year, public protests have continued for months and authorities have cracked down hard across the country. Amini was arrested for allegedly violating the strict Islamic dress code prescribed for women. After his death, this protest turned into a mass movement against the Tehran government.


According to a United Nations report, Iranian authorities arrested at least 14,000 people during the crackdown. Among the detained citizens are many celebrities, journalists and lawyers.


 Tehran’s famous Azadi Tower was opened in the early 1970s during the reign of the country’s last king, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. Pahlavi left the country shortly before the Islamic revolution in 1979 and fled the country

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