Iranian Blogger Couple Sentenced to Prison on Security Charges

 – An Iranian couple who appeared in a video dancing romantically have been jailed for 10-1/2 years each on charges of indecency and threatening national security, the activist HRANA news agency said, though a judiciary organ said they received shorter terms for a security offence only.

“By investigating their case…, it is clear that anti-revolutionary forces have falsely reported the charges by claiming each were sentenced to 10 years,” the Islamic Republic judiciary’s Mizan news agency said.

Mizan said the couple, bloggers Astiaj Haghighi and Amir Mohammad Ahmadi, received five-year terms each for “collusion against national security” by using their social media accounts, with one million followers, to stir protests in Iran.

It made no mention of an indecency charge.

HRANA said the couple had been charged with “spreading indecency” and with “collusion with the intention of disrupting national security”.

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Iranian authorities reported the sentencing of Haghighi and Ahmadi amid a wider crackdown on popular unrest touched off by the death of Kurdish woman Mahsa Amini after morality police arrested her for violating the country’s Islamic dress code.


Mobile image shows a young couple Astiyazh Haghighi and her fiance, Amir Mohammad Ahmadi, dancing in front of one of Tehran’s main landmarks Azadi Tower in 2022. Astiyazh Haghighi, 21, and Amir Mohammad Ahmadi, 22, were arrested in early November after the video went viral showing them dancing romantically in front of the Azadi Tower. The couple did not link their dance to the ongoing protests in Iran. Haghighi was not wearing a headscarf, in defiance of Iran’s strict rules. Women are also not allowed to dance in public, let alone with a man. An Iranian court has handed jail sentences of more than 10 years each to the young couple for promoting corruption, prostitution and propaganda.

(Reporting by Dubai Newsroom. Editing by Mark Heinrich)

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