Couple sentenced to 10 years after dance video goes viral

The Iranian regime’s repression continues unabated. A court has sentenced a young couple to more than 10 years in prison for dancing in a video seen as a symbol of defiance of the regime outside one of Tehran’s main landmarks, Iranian human rights activists said on Tuesday. .

Astiyaz Haghi and his fiancee Amir Mohammad Ahmadi were both arrested in November after a video of them dancing romantically in front of the Azadi Tower in Tehran went viral. Astiyaz Haghi did not wear an Islamic veil, in defiance of the Islamic Republic’s strict rules regarding women, who are not allowed to dance in public in Iran, let alone with a man.

A revolutionary court in Tehran sentenced him to 10.5 years in prison, as well as a ban on using the Internet and leaving Iran, the United States-based NGO Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) reported. The couple, popular on Instagram, were found guilty of “encouraging corruption and public prostitution” as well as “assembling with intent to disrupt national security”, the NGO said.