The convicts, Astiyazh Haghighi, 21, and Amir Mohammad Ahmadi, 22who are engaged, with plans to get married, are both full-time content creators on Instagram, each with nearly a million followers.
Couple jailed 10 and half years in Iran over video of them dancing in public (video)
Two Instagram content creators have been sentenced to ten and a half years imprisonment by an Iranian court for dancing in public and a video of it being shared online.
The video that caused their imprisonment was posted online in October 2022. It shows them dancing in the street in the capital’s Azadi Square, one of the sites of anti-government protests, which translates as “Freedom Square,”. The square is said to be a historic epicentre of protests in Iran, which is also used by pro-government Iranians to commemorate the 1979 Iranian Revolution.
Branch 15 of the Tehran Revolutionary Court charged the couple with “encouraging corruption, assembly and collusion with the intention of disrupting national security and spreading propaganda” against the Islamic Republic, based on which it jailed them on January 29, reports say.
The duo was reportedly arrested arbitrarily on the 1st of November 2022, reportedly beaten by plainclothes police officers, denied access to a lawyer, and denied bail.
As part of the court’s judgement, Haghighi and Ahmadi have also been banned from any online activities and from leaving Iran for two years after they have served their prison terms, vice.com reports.
Their jail term has sparked reactions from human rights advocates and organisations who describe it as unjust. Some say it makes no sense that one Iranian, Sajjad Heydarnawa was given eight years jail term for decapitating his own wife but the young couple have been slapped with a cruel punishment for what should not be a crime.
Iranian authorities have been cracking down on protesters since September when anti-government demonstrations erupted after 22-year-old Mahsa Amini who was arrested by Iran’s morality police for allegedly not wearing her hijab properly died in custody.
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