In Brief

Iranian couple arrested after public marriage proposal

Local authorities said the display went against the Islamic country’s religious and cultural values

A man and a woman have been arrested in Iran after a video clip of their public marriage proposal went viral.

The couple, who have not been identified, were filmed in a shopping centre in the city of Arak last week.

Footage shared on social media shows the man standing in a heart-shaped ring of flower petals with red and white balloons covering the floor.

The woman says yes to his offer of marriage, before accepting the engagement ring and embracing her partner in front of a crowd of cheering onlookers.

Mostafa Norouzi, deputy police chief in Arak, told the local press that the display went against the country’s strict Islamic values.

It is unacceptable for young people “to do whatever is common in other places of the world and disregard mores, culture and religion” in Iran, he said.

The pair’s “offense is very clear and there is no need for explanation” about the reason for their arrest, Norouzi added.

But lawyer Isa Amini, head of the Tehran Bar Association, said he could not understand what the grounds were for the arrest as the couple did not commit any wrongdoing, the Associated Press reports.

The pair have since been released on bail.

It is not the first time Iran’s laws on public decency have received international attention, says the BBC.

Last year, a teenage girl was arrested after she posted a clip of herself dancing on Instagram, and in 2014 a group of young people were detained for appearing in a video dancing to Pharrell Williams’ song Happy.

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