Subversive Sashays

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An Iranian court sentenced a couple to more than 10 years in prison after a video of them dancing in front of a monument in the capital was posted on social media, part of a crackdown by Iran’s authorities against flouting rules amid ongoing mass protests, the Washington Post reported.

Authorities detained the Iranian couple, Astiaj Haghighi and Amir Mohammad Ahmadi, in November. The two individuals are believed to be in their 20s and are both Instagram influencers, according to news agency HRANA.

The video of the couple showed them dancing in front of Tehran’s Azadi Tower, which became a symbol of freedom during the 1979 Islamic revolution. It also showed that the young woman, Haghighi, was not wearing a headscarf, which is mandatory in Iran.

The court sentenced each of them to 10 and a half years in prison for the “promotion of impurity and indecency, assembly and collusion against national security, and propaganda against the regime.”

The verdict comes as Iranian authorities continue to crack down on large anti-government protests that have gripped the country following the death of Mahsa Amini in September.

Amini, 22, was detained by Iran’s morality police for allegedly failing to abide by the Islamic dress code.

She later died in their custody.

Since then, thousands of protesters – many of them women – have demonstrated against the country’s ruling clerics.

According to the United Nations, at least 14,000 people, including children, have been arrested throughout the protests, and a “conservative” estimate shows that more than 300 people have been killed during the demonstrations.

Iranian courts have also sentenced more than a dozen individuals to death, including teenagers, for their participation in the protests, the New York Times noted.

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