Iran Dancing In The Streets – Astiaj Haghighi and Amir Mohammad Ahmadi posted a video on social media showing them dancing in a town square. @AlinejadMasih/Twitter
A young couple who filmed themselves dancing romantically on the streets of Tehran have been sentenced to several years in prison, according to human rights activists and Iranian authorities.
Iran Dancing In The Streets
Instagram influencer Astiyaz Hagigi (21) and her boyfriend Amir Muhammad Ahmadi (22) were jailed for trying to suppress anti-government protests.
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Celebrities regularly post videos on social networks together with about 2 million people.
A video posted on their Instagram account in November, which has since been deleted but has now gone viral on social media, showed the bloggers dancing near Tehran’s iconic Azadi (Freedom) Tower, which marks the western entrance to the Iranian capital.
A couple embraces and dances in front of a glowing monument, a flickering filter is shot.
Although dancing is not illegal under Iran’s criminal code, women dance in public, especially with men. Hagi appeared in the video without a hijab, a garment that has become the focus of protests.
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The two did not link their video to the unrest in the Islamic Republic, where 22-year-old Kurdish woman Mahsa Amini was arrested by police on moral grounds and later died in hospital, accused of breaking the country’s strict rules. Dress code
But news of the two’s imprisonment was first reported by activists on Sunday. They were forcibly arrested by security forces on November 1 “after posting a video of them dancing in a town square in a social space.”
Haghi and Ahmadi were sentenced to 10 years and six months in prison, according to the Human Rights Defenders Press Agency, or HRANA, the organization of the Federation of Human Rights Defenders in Iran. The organization was made up of human rights lawyers in Iran. “
Both were banned from using social media and banned from leaving the country for two years, HRANA reported, adding that in their case they do not have access to a lawyer. The last post on both Instagram accounts is from September 22.
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Iran’s judicial Mizan news agency reported on Wednesday that authorities arrested Haghi and Ahmadi on Nov. 1, and a judge later sentenced them to five years in prison for “fighting and opposing national security.”
“Their main goal was to encourage people to protest and overthrow the regime,” the report said. “They used their platform to advertise protests, including a call for protests on October 26. Despite the security guards knowing about their illegal activities, they persisted and were arrested on 1 November. “
NBC News was unable to independently confirm the details of the case, and it is unclear what may be behind the conflict between the activist group and Miza.
A boy carries an Iranian flag in front of the Azadi Monument in Tehran on February 11, 2020. File Wahid Salemi/AP
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“These two young Iranians were convicted of the crime of dancing,” Iranian activist and journalist Masih Alinejad wrote on Twitter on Monday. “You two don’t deserve this cruelty,” she said, sharing a video of the pair dancing.
Tara Sepehri Farr, senior Iran researcher at Human Rights Watch, said in an email: “The deliberate and completely unjustified long prison sentences for making the video show that false accusations through an unjust court system are not only repressive, but also social.” . freedom, but also for the peaceful protest and the mobilization of the brave demonstrators in the last few months”.
The protests that followed Amini’s death in Iran were the biggest challenge to the theocratic rule since its inception in the 1979 Islamic Revolution.
After months of cracking down on the protests, the Iranian government began carrying out public hangings, drawing the ire of law enforcement activists and Western officials.
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According to human rights activists in Iran, at least 527 people have been killed, including 71 children, four protesters have been executed and nearly 20,000 have been arrested. In December, Iran’s Interior Ministry put the death toll at 200, including security forces.
In an Instagram post posted on September 20, Hagigi wrote that he had been stopped several times by the moral police due to his “inappropriate” clothing and inner fear.
“They took me to the car,” she recalled in an Instagram post. “The fear you gave me has never left me.”
You ask why I don’t speak, you often curse me,” Hagi told his followers. “I don’t think I can, not because I don’t want to.” My mother has no one but me and I am the head of my family. I fear my mother’s tears. An Iranian court has sentenced a young couple to more than 10 years in prison for dancing in front of one of Tehran’s main landmarks in a video seen as a sign of opposition to the regime. the activists said.
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Astiyaz Hagigi and her husband Amir Muhammad Ahmadi, both in their 20s, were arrested in early November after a video of them dancing romantically in front of the Azadi Tower was released.
Hagi did not wear a hijab against Iran’s strict rules. Women are also not allowed to dance in public with men.
The American Press Service of Human Rights Defenders (HRANA) was sentenced by the Revolutionary Court in Tehran to 10 years and six months in prison and banned from using the Internet and leaving Iran.
The couple, who already exist as popular Instagram bloggers in Tehran, were charged with “encouraging corruption and mass robbery” and “conspiracy to undermine national security.”
Iran Couple Sentenced To 10 Years In Jail For Viral Video Of Dancing In Public
HRANA, citing sources close to the families, said they had no lawyers at the trial and that attempts to secure their release on bail had been rejected.
Hagini is now said to be in the Karchak women’s prison outside Tehran, the conditions of which are regularly condemned by activists.
Iranian authorities have suppressed dissent since the death of Mahsa Amini in September. The death of Amin, who was arrested for violating hijab rules, sparked protests that turned into a movement against the regime.
According to the United Nations, at least 14,000 people have been arrested, from celebrities, journalists and lawyers to ordinary people who took to the streets.
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The pair’s video has been hailed as a symbol of the freedoms sought by the protest movement, with Ahmadi currently holding his partner in the air as her long hair floats behind her.
The futuristic Azadi (Freedom) temple, one of the main symbols of the Iranian capital, is a place of great emotions. It was opened in the early 1970s under the reign of the last Shah, Muhammad Reza Pahlavi, when it was renamed the Shahjad (In Memory of the Shah) Monastery.
It was renamed in 1979 after the removal of the king from power with the establishment of the Islamic Republic. Its architect, a member of the Baha’i faith, which is not recognized in today’s Iran, lives in exile. Iranian women have been filmed dancing in the streets against the strict ban, and the videos have gone viral around the world.
In Iran, women are prohibited from dancing in front of men who are not family members, effectively banning dancing in public.
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In recent weeks, dozens of videos have been uploaded to social media showing women brazenly dancing in the streets and risking illegal arrest.
The video was picked up by American media company Vocativ and has been viewed hundreds of thousands of times online.
Strict dance rules apply to men as well. In April 2018, a youth concert at Masada Mall was described as a “crime against decency” as young men and women clapped and danced as they watched the performance.
This led to the arrest of the head of the city’s Islamic counseling department, the BBC reported.
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Last year, six people, four men and two women, were arrested for teaching zumba in a square in Tehran. According to the Telegraph, Zumba classes are also banned in women-only gyms.
This dance protest has been going on for years, as have social media protests against women illegally removing their hijab in public in Iran. In the video, an Iranian couple can be seen dancing in front of the Azadi monument in central Tehran. . They smile as they move together. The woman’s flowing hair trails behind her as she is lifted into the air.
The video was posted online in early November, weeks after 22-year-old Mahsa Amini died in Amini’s arms.
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