Couple Sentenced To Dance in Front of Azadi Tower in Iran

Couple Sentenced To Dance in Front of Azadi Tower in Iran

The young couple who danced in front of the Azadi (Liberty) Tower in Tehran, the capital of Iran, was sentenced to 10 years in prison. The images of the couple, which went viral in a short time, were interpreted as supporting the protests that emerged after the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in the country. The Iranian court is at the center of the criticism, accusing the youth of “gathering without permission” and “encouraging prostitution in public”.

An Iranian court has sentenced a young couple to more than 10 years in prison for dancing in front of one of the capital Tehran’s landmarks in a video seen as a symbol of rebellion against the regime.

Astiyazh Haghighi and her fiancé Amir Mohammad Ahmadi, both in their early 20s, were arrested in early November after a video of them dancing romantically in front of the Azadi Tower went viral.

Haghighi did not wear the hijab, defiing Iran’s strict rules. It is illegal for both men and women to dance in public in Iran.

The US-based Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) reported that a revolution court in Tehran sentenced the defendants to 10 years and 6 months in prison and imposed a ban on internet use and travel abroad.


But the couple, already popular on social media, were found guilty of “inciting corruption and public prostitution” and “gathering to undermine national security”. HRANA reported that sources close to the couple’s families were deprived of their lawyers during the court process and attempts to be released on bail were denied.

Haghighi is reportedly currently in Qarchak women’s prison outside Tehran, whose conditions are regularly condemned by activists.

Meanwhile, Iranian authorities have harshly suppressed any opposition since Mahsa Amini’s death in September. The death of Amini, who was arrested for allegedly violating the headscarf rules, sparked protests that turned into an anti-regime movement.

According to the United Nations, at least 14,000 people have been arrested, from prominent celebrities, journalists and lawyers to ordinary people taking to the streets.

The couple’s video was hailed as a symbol of the freedoms demanded by the protest movement.

The futuristic Azadi (Liberty) Tower, one of the main symbols of Tehran, gained a symbolic meaning with potestos. The building was opened as the Shahyad (Shah’s Memory) Tower in the early 1970s during the reign of the last Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.


Its name changed with the overthrow of the Shah and the establishment of the Islamic Republic in 1979. Hussein Amanat, whose architect was of the Baha’i faith and is little known in modern-day Iran, now lives in exile.

Who is Mahsa Amini?

Gül Demirci

Hi, I'm Gul. I am a writer for Expat Guide Turkey and I strive to create the best content for you. To contact me, you can send an e-mail to Happy reading!

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