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Iran bloggers couple jailed for 10 years for dancing publicly

11:14 PM | 1 Feb, 2023
Iran bloggers couple jailed for 10 years for dancing publicly
Source: Astiyazh Haghighi (Instagram)

Iranian authorities continue to book civilians breaking laws and subject them to gruesome punishments. In a shocking turn of events, a young couple in Iran has been sentenced to more than 10 years in jail for dancing and filming in front of a major Tehran landmark.

The couple, who has been identified as popular Instagram bloggers, Astiyazh Haghighi and Amir Ahmadi, has been arrested and tried in court with a sentence of 10 years and six months in prison, after a video of them dancing in front of Azadi (Freedom) Tower surfaced on the internet.

The court in Tehran also banned the couple from using the internet and leaving Iran, according to the US-based Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA).

The couple was convicted of “encouraging corruption and public prostitution”, as well as “gathering with the intention of disrupting national security”, it said.

The video features Ms. Haghighi not wearing a headscarf. This triggered the Iranian authorities who follow strict rules for women concerning headscarves in public. At one point in the video, Mr. Ahmadi lifts his fiancee as her long hair billow behind her.

The landmark, Azadi Tower, is a place of huge sensitivity for Iranians. It opened under the rule of the last shah, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, in the early 1970s when it was known as the Shahyad Tower. Shahyad means in memory of the Shah. It was renamed after the shah was ousted in 1979. Its architect, a member of the Bahai faith that is not recognised in Iran today, now lives in exile.

HRANA quoted sources close to their families suggesting that the couple has been deprived of lawyers during the court proceedings, while attempts to secure their release on bail had been rejected.

HRANA said that Ms. Haghighi was now in the notorious Qarchak prison for women, which lies outside Tehran.

Since the death of Mahsa Amini in police custody in September, Iran saw a wave of protests that have turned into a movement against the regime where many people act out as a sign of defiance. Amini was detained for allegedly breaking the headscarf laws. Ms. Haghighi and Mr. Ahmadi's video had been hailed as a symbol of freedom by protesters. 

 Since the protests first took place, at least 14,000 people, ranging from prominent celebrities, journalists, and lawyers to civilians, have been arrested, according to the United Nations.

The writer is a staff member.

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Currency Rates in Pakistan Today - PKR to US Dollar, Euro, Pound, Dirham, and Riyal - 21 April 2024

Pakistani currency remains unchanged against US Dollar and other currencies on April 21, 2024. US dollar was being quoted at 277.5 for buying and 280.5 for selling.

Euro stands at 293 for buying and 296 for selling while British Pound hovers at 342.25 for buying, and 345.65 for selling.

UAE Dirham AED was at 75.20 and Saudi Riyal's new rate was at 73.30. 

Today’s currency exchange rates in Pakistan - 21 April 2024

Currency Symbol Buying Selling
US Dollar USD 277.5 280.5
Euro EUR 293 296
UK Pound Sterling GBP 342.5 346
U.A.E Dirham AED 75.2 75.9
Saudi Riyal SAR 73.3 74.05
Australian Dollar AUD 181 182.8
Bahrain Dinar BHD 740.55 748.55
Canadian Dollar CAD 201 203
China Yuan CNY 38.47 38.87
Danish Krone DKK 39.78 40.18
Hong Kong Dollar HKD 35.53 35.88
Indian Rupee INR 3.33 3.44
Japanese Yen JPY 1.86 1.94
Kuwaiti Dinar KWD 903.11 912.11
Malaysian Ringgit MYR 58.08 58.68
New Zealand Dollar NZD 164.22 166.22
Norwegians Krone NOK 25.61 25.91
Omani Riyal OMR 723.2 731.2
Qatari Riyal QAR 76.45 77.15
Singapore Dollar SGD 204.5 206.5
Swedish Korona SEK 25.31 25.61
Swiss Franc CHF 305.47 307.97
Thai Bhat THB 7.56 7.71

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