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Iran: Couple imprisoned for 10 years after dancing in public

Astiyazh Haghighi, 21, and Amir Mohammad Ahmadi, 22

Astiyazh Haghighi and her fiance Amir Mohammad Ahmadi were arrested in early November after a video went viral of the couple dancing in front of the Azadi Tower in Tehran, Iran.

Haghighi was not wearing a headscarf in the video, in violation of Iran’s strict rules. Women are also not allowed to dance in public.

An Iranian court has now sentenced each of them to 10 years and six months in prison. That is what the US-based Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) writes, according to The Guardian newspaper.

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The couple, who were popular Instagram bloggers, were convicted of “encouraging corruption and public prostitution” as well as “gathering with the intent to disrupt national security,” the statement said.

HRANA cites sources close to the families who say that the convicted have been deprived of lawyers during the court proceedings, and that attempts to secure release on bail have been rejected.

Iranian authorities have cracked down hard on all forms of dissent after the death of Mahsa Aminis in September. The death of Amini, who was arrested for allegedly violating the headscarf rules, sparked protests that have evolved into a movement against the regime.

At least 14,000 people have so far been arrested in Iran, according to the UN. This is everything from prominent celebrities, journalists and lawyers to ordinary people who have moved out into the streets.

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