Dancing Banned In Iran – A video of Astiaj Haghighi and Amir Mohammad Ahmadi dancing in the city square was posted on social [email protected] / Twitter
A young couple who posted a video of themselves dancing passionately on the streets of Tehran has been sentenced to several years in prison, rights activists and Iranian authorities said.
Dancing Banned In Iran
Instagram influencer Astiyazh Haghighi, 21, and her fiance Amir Mohammad Ahmadi, 22, have been jailed as part of a military crackdown on anti-government protests across the country.
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Popular on social media with nearly 2 million followers, the couple regularly posts videos together.
In a video posted on their Instagram account in November that has since been deleted but is now widely shared on social media, the bloggers danced the night away near Tehran’s Azadi (Freedom) tower.
The couple embraces and dances in front of the glittering monument, with a glitter filter added to the video.
Although dancing is illegal under Iran’s penal code, women, especially men, dance in public. Haghighi appears in the video without a headscarf in the clothes that have become the focus of protests.
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The pair did not link their video to the unrest in the Islamic Republic after Mahsa Amini, a Kurdish woman accused of violating the country’s strict rules, died in hospital. Must wear.
But the couple’s conviction was first reported on Sunday by an activist group, which said they were “forcibly arrested by security forces on November 1 for a video of them dancing in a market in the city”.
Haghighi and Ahmadi were each sentenced to 10 years and six months in prison, according to the Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA), the Communication Department of Iran’s Human Rights Activists, which describes itself as a non-political and non-governmental organization. . “Human Rights Activists in Iran”.
The two have been banned from using social media sites and leaving the country for two years, HRANA said. The last post on both Instagram accounts was dated September 22.
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Haghighi and Ahmadi were arrested by authorities on Nov. 1 and sentenced to five years in prison by a judge for conspiracy and conspiracy against the country’s security, Iran’s judiciary-run Mizan news agency reported on Wednesday.
“Their aim is to incite people to protest and overthrow the regime,” the report said. “They use their platform to publicize protests, including calling for protests on October 26. Despite informing security officials about their disruptive actions, they continued to be arrested and were arrested on November 1.
NBC News has not been able to independently confirm the details of the case, and it is unclear what may be behind the conflict between the activist group and Mizan.
February 11 2020, A boy holds an Iranian flag in front of the Azadi Tower in Tehran. Vahid Salemi/AP file
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“These two young Iranians were convicted of the crime of dancing,” Iranian activist and journalist Masih Alinejad tweeted on Monday. “They don’t deserve this kind of cruelty,” she shared a clip of the couple dancing.
Tara Sepehri Far, senior Iran researcher at Human Rights Watch, wrote in an email: “These unjustified long prison terms for posting videos clearly show that the authorities are falsely accused of a social and unjust justice system. . freedom, But in recent months, the peaceful resistance organized by brave protesters,
The protests that swept Iran after Amini’s death could be the biggest challenge to the theocratic rule since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.
After a months-long crackdown on violence, Iran’s government publicly hanged people, drawing the ire of human rights activists and Western officials.
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According to Iranian human rights activists, at least 527 people, including 71 children, were killed, four protesters were executed, and nearly 20,000 others were arrested. In December, Iran’s Interior Ministry put the death toll at more than 200, including members of the security forces.
In an Instagram post uploaded on September 20, Haghighi wrote about being stopped several times by the ethics police because of her “inappropriate” clothing and because of it she was intimidated.
“They put me in a van,” she recalled of the incident on Instagram. “The fear he instilled in me never left me
“You curse me and why don’t you speak,” Haghighi continued to his followers. “I can’t do it because I don’t want to do it.” Because there is no one but my mother and I am the head of the family. I am afraid of my mother’s tears” Despite the strict ban, Iranian women were filmed dancing in the streets and the videos went viral around the world.
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In Iran, women are prohibited from dancing in front of male non-family members, effectively banning dancing in public.
In recent weeks, Dozens of videos have been posted on social media showing women daringly dancing in the streets and risking arrest for breaking the law.
The videos were picked up by American media company Vocativ and have garnered hundreds of thousands of views online.
Strict laws for dancing also apply to men. In April 2018, a youth concert in a shopping mall in Mashhad was deemed “against public respect” because young men and women clapped and danced while watching the concert.
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According to a BBC report, the head of the city’s Islamic guidance department was arrested as a result.
Last year, six people were killed for holding Zumba classes in a public square in Tehran. Four men and two women were arrested. According to The Telegraph, Zumba classes are even banned from women’s gyms.
For years, there have been dance-like protests on social media where women in Iran have illegally removed their headscarves in public. There are countless videos of 32 ballerinas performing; But what about the 50s? Ballet d’Or principal dancer Tara Ghassemieh recently posted this performance on Instagram with the hashtag #danceforIran to mark 50 days of protests in Iran.
Persian-born Tara has been campaigning to raise awareness of Iran’s widespread anti-government protests since the death of Mahsa Amini, who died in police custody last September.
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“People don’t know that many Western dances, including ballet, are banned in Iran,” Ghassemieh said. “There is no artistic freedom. Can you imagine risking your life to dance?
Ghassemieh was born in the United States to an American mother and an Iranian-born father and immigrated shortly before the 1978 Iranian Revolution. He trained in Orange County, California, before moving to New York at a young age. 16 To attend the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School of the American Ballet Theater. As JKO’s existing back injury worsened, her training was shortened and she retired from ballet for four years. .
In her 20s, she returned to the studio with young dancers from Orange County for Festival Ballet Theater, a student company that attracts guest artists. She retrained in hopes of one day living her dream of dancing with ABT or a similar company. Within months, she was hired by the Festival Ballet to dance leading roles, often alongside ABT’s top dances Lilac Fairy and Gillian Murphy’s Aurora.
. She joined the Golden State Ballet in 2021, as did her husband, San Francisco ballet dancer Vitor Luiz.
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As her dancing flourishes, it becomes clear that she cannot share her artistic talents with her Iranian family. Her father didn’t even want to visit her, fearing that her dancing would threaten her safety. He was able to meet his Persian family only once in Dubai.
“That trip was a turning point for me,” Ghassemieh said. He wanted to find a way to connect his Persian roots to ballet. Working with journalists and researchers, he uncovered the existence of the Iranian National Ballet, a world-class dance company before the Iranian revolution. “I was asked to do something without living the whole of history.”
“I said, ‘I’m the first Iranian principal dancer in the United States?’
With this success, her dream changed – she joined the Metropolitan Opera House in New York. Roudaki Hall in Tehran (changed to Vahdat Hall after the revolution) and represented Iran in the Western ballet world.
May I Have This Dance?
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