Tags: Iran | happy | video

Iranians Arrested for 'Happy' Video Freed

Wednesday, 21 May 2014 03:17 PM

Six Iranians arrested for appearing in a video singing along to an American pop song were released on Wednesday, one day after being detained for what police called their "obscene" behaviour, one of them said in an online posting.

In the clip, the three women and three men dance and lip synch to Pharrell Williams' "Happy", imitating the official video of the international hit. The women are not wearing headscarves, as demanded by Iran's Islamic law.

Their arrest caused outrage among fans of the song, a catchy anthem about feeling happy, who took to social media to denounce Iran's heavy-handed response to the video.

Pharrell Williams himself criticized the arrests. "It's beyond sad these kids were arrested for trying to spread happiness," he tweeted on Tuesday.

Iran's state-run TV broadcast a program on Tuesday, apparently showing the six expressing regret. "They had promised us not to publish the video," said one of the women.

Tehran's police chief, Hossein Sajedinia, said he had ordered the arrest of the six people because they had helped create an "obscene video clip that offended the public morals and was released in cyberspace," Iran's state news agency ISNA said.

A source close to the six said they had been released on bail.

"Hi, I'm back, thank you @pharrell and everyone who cared about us," Reihane Taravati wrote on her Instagram account. "Love you all so much and missed you so much."

It is not the first time young Iranians have used social media sites to buck social repression.

A Facebook page entitled "My Stealthy Freedom", where Iranian women can send in pictures of themselves without their hair covered, has garnered 331,000 likes.

 

© 2017 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

 
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2014-17-21
Wednesday, 21 May 2014 03:17 PM
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