Home / News / World /  Watch: Iranian couple dance in Tehran street, leading to 10.5-year imprisonment

After a video of a couple dancing in Tehran's main square surfaced, they were sentenced to 10.5 years in prison. Additionally, the couple are forbidden for two years from using the internet or travelling outside of Iran. Their case was heard by Judge Abolqasem Salavati, who handed out the punishments.

Astiyazh Haghighi, 21, and Amir Mohammad Ahmadi, 22, can be seen dancing in Azadi Square while Haghighi was without a headscarf in the video that has gone viral on social media. The couple, who are both social media influencers, published the video themselves.

In addition to having separate YouTube accounts with a combined following of more than 500,000, Haghighi and Ahmadi have close to a million Instagram followers each.

Iran prohibits women from dancing in public, much less doing so without a hijab and with a guy. Prior to Haghighi's arrest, the police also searched her home.

Security agents first searched the couple's house early on October 30, according to a source who spoke to CNN. They then brought them to be questioned before transferring them to prison.

Also Read: Protest-hit Iran says WhatsApp, Instagram to remain blocked

According to HRANA, Haghighi was initially sent to Ward 209 of the Evin Prison before being moved to the women's prison at Qarchak, where she is presently being held. It continued that Haghighi and her companion were both refused access to legal counsel.

Each was sentenced to ten and a half years in prison after being accused of "spreading corruption and vice" and "assembly and collusion with the intention of disrupting national security", according to the US-based Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA).

Also Read: Iran, Russia move to link banks to evade Western sanctions

The Iranian judiciary's news agency, Mizan, reported that each person had received a five-year prison sentence for "assembly and collusion with the intention of disrupting national security". The two were charged with inciting crowds to gather and inviting them to riot in an October 26 Instagram post.

Iran has seen widespread protests across the country over the death in custody of Mahsa Amini, a young woman accused of defying the country's laws requiring women to wear the hijab. Iran has responded by executing protesters accused of murdering security officers. According to critics, the judgements came from hurried fake trials.

Sounak Mukhopadhyay
Sounak Mukhopadhyay, who also goes by the name Sounak Mukherjee, has been producing digital news since 2012. He's worked for the International Business Times, The Inquisitr, and Moneycontrol in the past. He's also contributed to Free Press Journal and TheRichest with feature articles. He covers news for a wide range of subjects including business, finance, economy, politics and social media. Before working with digital news publications, he worked as a freelance content writer.
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