Tags: iran | happy | dancers | sentenced | lashes | jail

Iran 'Happy' Dancers Sentenced to 91 Lashes, Months in Jail

By    |   Friday, 19 Sep 2014 01:55 PM

Iran's "Happy" dancers, the seven men and women who were rounded up and arrested in Tehran after producing and posting a parody of Pharrell Williams' hit song on YouTube, received a sentence this week for 91 lashes and six to 12 months of jail time.

The sentence was handed down in an Iranian court Wednesday. The group got in trouble in May for posting their version of Williams' song online.

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Six of the video's stars were sentenced to six years in prison and 91 lashes, and a seventh person got one year in prison to go with his 91 lashes, but all of the sentences for the "Happy" dancers were suspended, their attorney Farshid Rofugaran told IranWire.com.

"A suspended sentence becomes null and void after a certain period of time," Rofugaran told IranWire.com. That period of time will be three years for his group. "When it's a suspended sentence, the verdict is not carried out, but if during this period a similar offense is committed, then the accused is subject to legal punishment and the suspended sentence will then be carried out as well."

That means Sassan Soleimani, Reyhaneh Taravati, Neda Motameni, Afshin Sohrabi, Bardia Moradi, Roham Shamekhi, and another identified only by the first name Sepideh will serve their sentences only if they are found guilty of another crime in the next three years.

The group were arrested and appeared on Iranian television to confess to their crimes. Rights activists complained that such confessions are made under duress and obtained for political purposes, but Tehran's police chief condemned the group's actions at the time and described the dancers' "Happy" video as "obnoxious," wrote The Guardian.

The video received more than 97,000 views on YouTube and plenty of media attention from American news and entertainment programs, which could be how news got back to Iranian authorities.

Williams wrote in support of the dancers on his Facebook Page May 20 when word spread about their arrest. That was liked nearly 52,000 times and shared more than 12,000.

 




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Iran's "Happy" dancers, the seven men and women who were rounded up and arrested in Tehran after producing and posting a parody of Pharrell Williams' hit song on YouTube, received a sentence this week for 91 lashes and six to 12 months of jail time.
iran, happy, dancers, sentenced, lashes, jail
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2014-55-19
Friday, 19 Sep 2014 01:55 PM
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