In Iran, a boy and a girl were sentenced to 10 years and six months in prison after they posted a video of them dancing a romantic dance. Insider.
Astijah Hagigi, 21, and her fiancé, Amir Mohammad Ahmadi, 22, were convicted of "propaganda of impurity and obscenity, assembly and conspiracy against national security, and propaganda against the regime," according to the Human Rights Defenders News Agency, the rights group's media platform in Iran.
“On November 1, 2022, the security forces arrested the couple at their home in Tehran,” the agency wrote, adding that Hagigi had been transferred to a women’s prison in Varamin Agency.
A video of the two dancing in front of the Azadi Tower in Tehran went viral even before they were arrested.
Hagigi and Ahmadi were denied access to lawyers and their bail attempts were rejected.
The couple has almost 1 million followers on Instagram, and many photos on the social network show them together.
They did not seem to associate their dance with mass protests against Iran's strict Islamist regime. But the dance video was seen as a symbol of freedom in support of the protests.
Azadi Tower is also a sensitive place for Iran. This landmark was built by Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi shortly before he was overthrown in the 1979 revolution and was designed by a Bahá'í architect who has been brutally targeted by the Islamic Republic of Iran since coming to power.
The sentences given to the young couple are among the harshest ever given to people accused of supporting anti-Islamic Republic protests that were sparked by the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini while in police custody.
At least 14 people, including children, athletes and celebrities, have been arrested following the protests, according to the UN.
So far, at least 11 death sentences have been handed down in connection with the protests.