Iran bloggers couple jailed for 10 years for dancing publicly

Noor Fatima 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.

Noor Fatima

The writer is a staff member.


Today's currency exchange rates in Pakistan - Dollar, Euro, Pound, Riyal rates on March 23, 2023

KARACHI - Following are the foreign currency exchange rates for US Dollar, Saudi Riyal, UK Pound Sterling, U.A.E. Dirham, European Euro, and other foreign currencies in Pakistan open market on March 23, 2023 (Thursday).

Source: Forex Association of Pakistan. (last update 09:00 AM)

Currency Symbol Buying Selling
US Dollar ‎USD 283.1 286.15
Euro EUR 302.5 305.5
UK Pound Sterling GBP 343.5 347
U.A.E Dirham AED 77.2 78
Saudi Riyal SAR 75.4 76.2
Australian Dollar AUD 187 189.4
Bahrain Dinar BHD 749.55 757.55
Canadian Dollar CAD 205 207.2
China Yuan CNY 40.91 41.31
Danish Krone DKK 40.77 41.17
Hong Kong Dollar HKD 35.92 36.27
Indian Rupee INR 3.41 3.52
Japanese Yen JPY 2.06 2.11
Kuwaiti Dinar KWD 919.22 928.22
Malaysian Ringgit MYR 62.85 63.45
New Zealand Dollar NZD 176.66 178.66
Norwegians Krone NOK 26.33 26.63
Omani Riyal OMR 731.97 739.97
Qatari Riyal ‎QAR 77.43 78.13
Singapore Dollar SGD 208 210
Swedish Korona SEK 26.5 26.8
Swiss Franc CHF 305.12 307.62
Thai Bhat THB 8.19 8.34

Today's gold rates in Pakistan – 23 March 2023

KARACHI – The price of a single tola of 24-karat gold in Pakistan is Rs 203,800 on Thursday. The price of 10 grams of 24k gold was recorded at Rs174,730.   

Likewise, 10 grams of 22k gold were being traded for Rs163,624 while a single tola of 22-karat gold was being sold at Rs 190,880.

Note: The gold rate in Pakistan is fluctuating according to the international market so the price is never been fixed. The below rates are provided by local gold markets and Sarafa Markets of different cities.

City Gold Silver
Lahore PKR 203,800 PKR 2,350
Karachi PKR 203,800 PKR 2,350
Islamabad PKR 203,800 PKR 2,350
Peshawar PKR 203,800 PKR 2,350
Quetta PKR 203,800 PKR 2,350
Sialkot PKR 203,800 PKR 2,350
Attock PKR 203,800 PKR 2,350
Gujranwala PKR 203,800 PKR 2,350
Jehlum PKR 203,800 PKR 2,350
Multan PKR 203,800 PKR 2,350
Bahawalpur PKR 203,800 PKR 2,350
Gujrat PKR 203,800 PKR 2,350
Nawabshah PKR 203,800 PKR 2,350
Chakwal PKR 203,800 PKR 2,350
Hyderabad PKR 203,800 PKR 2,350
Nowshehra PKR 203,800 PKR 2,350
Sargodha PKR 203,800 PKR 2,350
Faisalabad PKR 203,800 PKR 2,350
Mirpur PKR 203,800 PKR 2,350


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