Six Iranians Arrested for Making ‘Happy’ Video, Now Reportedly Free

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happy song dancing(CNN) – A human rights group says six people arrested in Iran after taking part in a pop music video have been released.

The homemade YouTube video showed the group dancing to Pharrell Williams’ hit “happy.”

They were arrested for making, what the Iranian police called an “obscene video”.

This week the six young men and women were arrested by Iranian authorities and paraded in front of state TV cameras for shooting the video.

In the video the young Iranians are seen playfully dancing and lip syncing. The music video received nearly one hundred thousand hits on YouTube and closes with this written message:

“Happy” was an excuse to be happy. We enjoyed every second of making it. Hope it puts a smile on your face.

Watch below:


Tehran’s police chief wasn’t smiling when he boasted on state television that the group was arrested within six hours because they made an obscene video without a permit from authorities. Other state media reports described the music video as vulgar.

The Islamic Republic forbids men and women from dancing with one another. Punishment can range from a prison sentence to a lashing and a fine. The women in the video also appear without the mandatory Islamic hair veil.

In the arrest video, aired on state television, several of the accused performers have their backs to the camera but they can be heard quivering as they tell a reporter they were misled by the video’s producer.

The arrests sparked outrage on social media. Pharrell williams himself posted on his facebook page: it’s beyond sad that these kids were arrested for trying to spread happiness.

In his first year as President, Hassan Rouhani has pushed for more social freedoms and signaled a more moderate Iran – a campaign Tehran hopes will win goodwill amid the current nuclear negotiations with world powers.

In an apparent message of support for the young Iranians a tweet on president Rouhani’s twitter account said ‘happiness is our people’s right. We shouldn’t be too hard on behaviors caused by joy.

Whether Rouhani’s tweet helped persuade authorities to release the group on bail is not clear.


1 Comment

  • scallywagy

    What's interesting is how Iran‘s president Hassan Rouhani came out to tweet a message of support after the release of the individuals- which raises the interesting dilemma what can we expect going forward in Iran and will there be a softening up of the acceptance of Western culture, women not appropriating traditional values and the fact that the establishment may just fear Iran's very heavy populated youth ….???

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