A young couple who posted a video of themselves dancing romantically on the streets of Tehran have been sentenced to several years in prison, according to human rights activists and Iranian authorities.

The jailing of Instagram influencers Astiyazh Haghighi, 21, and her fiancé, Amir Mohammad Ahmadi, 22, comes amid a regime crackdown in a bid to quell anti-government protests that have spread across the country. .

The couple, popular social media figures with a combined following of nearly two million, they have regularly posted videos together.

In a video posted to their Instagram accounts in November, which has since been deleted but is now widely circulated on social media, the bloggers can be seen dancing at night near Tehran’s iconic Azadi (Freedom) Tower, which marks the western entrance to Iran’s capital.

The couple can be seen twirling and dancing as they embrace in a bright filter transposed to video, in front of the glowing monument.

While dancing is not illegal under Iran’s penal code, women who dance in public, particularly with men, are. Haghighi appeared in the video without a headscarf, a garment that has become a focal point of the protests.

The couple did not link their video to unrest that broke out in the Islamic Republic following the death of 22-year-old Kurdish woman Mahsa Amini in hospital after being detained by the moral police after being accused of breaking the country’s strict dress code.

But news of the couple’s prison sentences was first reported on Sunday by an activist group, which said they had been violently arrested on November 1 last year by security forces «after they posted a video on social networks that showed them dancing in a city square».

Haghighi and Ahmadi were each sentenced to 10 years and six months in prison, according to the Human Rights Activists News Agencyor HRANA, the communications arm of Human Rights Activists in Iran, which describes itself as a «non-political, non-governmental organization made up of human rights defenders in Iran.»

The two were also banned from using social media and leaving the country for two years, HRANA said, adding that they were reportedly denied access to a lawyer during legal proceedings. The last publication on her Instagram accounts is from September 22.

from iran Mizan The news agency, which is in charge of the judiciary, reported Wednesday that Haghighi and Ahmadi were arrested by authorities on November 1 and later sentenced by a judge to five years in prison each for «conspiracy and demonstration against security.» from the country».

“Their aim was to encourage people to protest and overthrow the regime,” the report says. “They used their platform to announce protests, including the call for the October 26 protests. Despite being informed of their disturbing actions by security agents, they persisted and were arrested on November 1.”

NBC News has not been able to independently verify any details of this case and it is unclear what may be behind the discrepancy between the activist group and Mizan.