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In Iran, You Can’t Be ‘Happy’

Six Iranians Arrested After Recreating Pharrell's 'Happy' Music Video

• May 21, 2014 9:38 am

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Six young Iranians attempting to spread joy and happiness by dancing in a video to Pharrell Williams’ hit song "Happy" have been arrested.

Authorities in the Islamic Republic watched the video and deemed it to be "vulgar" and "obnoxious." The women in the dancing group violated a mandate imposed by the Islamic Republic, which stipulates that women must were veils.

Williams sounded off on the absurdity of the arrest, tweeting Tuesday night "It’s beyond sad these kids were arrested for trying to spread the happiness."

The story has since caught wind and sparked a firestorm on Twitter, prompting users to tweet the hashtag #freehappyiranians .

A New York Times report said that Iran’s state-run television channel aired a program showing the six young Iranians confessing their participation in the video and claiming they did not know their video would be posted for all to see.

One of the women said on the show, "They had promised us not to publish the video," according the British newspaper the Guardian.

Hossein Sajedinia, Tehran’s police chief, said the video is "a vulgar clip which hurt public chastity."

The dancers explained their inspiration for making the video, posting the following message in the video credits "’Happy’ was an excuse to be happy. We enjoyed every second of making it. Hope it puts a smile on your face."

Published under: Iran