An Iranian court sentenced two bloggers to 10 ½ years in prison each on January 29 for publishing a video of themselves dancing in Tehran's central Azadi Square, amid a fierce crackdown on anti-government demonstrations.
Amir Ahmadi and his partner Astiaj Haghighi were also banned from carrying out online activities and from leaving Iran for two years after completing their prison sentences.
Branch 15 of Tehran Revolutionary Court had charged the two with "encouraging corruption, assembly and collusion with the intention of disrupting national security and spreading propaganda” against the Islamic Republic.
Pour crime de danse, Astiyazh Haghighi, 21 ans, et Amir Mohammad Ahmadi, 22 ans, ont été condamnés à 10 ans et 6 mois de prison. @AlinejadMasih #MahsaAmini pic.twitter.com/iwtzEOsNdA— L'important (@Limportant_fr) January 30, 2023
Ahmadi and Haghighi were arrested on November 1, 2022, when plainclothes officers beat them and transferred them to Ward 209 of the Ministry of Intelligence, according to media reports.
The two were deprived of their right to have a lawyer in court, and their request to be released on bail was rejected.
Their families have reportedly been under pressure from the authorities to not talk about their arrest.
The Islamic Republic has unleashed a brutal crackdown on the protest movement that has swept Iran for more than four months, killing more than 520 people and detaining over 18,000, activists say.
Around 20 people have been handed capital punishment in connection with the demonstrations demanding more freedoms and women’s rights. Four young men have been executed so far amid international outrage.
Many other detainees have been handed long-term prison sentences.