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The “Happy” Video That Got Six Young People Sent to Jail
Written by Farid On 22 May 2014 @ 11:24 am | 4 Comments
In Arts & Culture, Farsi, Feature, Freedom of Speech, Iran, Middle East & North Africa, Video
Six Iranians paid a high price for joining a global trend when they made a dance video from Tehran inspired by the music video for the song “Happy” by Pharrell Williams .
Today, all but one of these young people were released  from jail after Iranian authorities announced that they had been arrested on May 20.
In a Twitter campaign, #FreeHappyIranians , Iranian netizens flooded the internet with tweets expressing their anger and disappointment.
The buzz was so hard to ignore that even the moderate Iranian president chimed in with an opinion on Twitter (ironically, Twitter is still banned in Iran).
“#Happiness  is our people's right. We shouldn't be too hard on behaviors caused by joy.” 29/6/2013
— Hassan Rouhani (@HassanRouhani) May 21, 2014 
Here is the video that led to the arrest of the “happy” Iranians.
The show must go on
The group were forced to appear  on Iranian state television’s evening news broadcast, side by side, facing Tehran's Chief of Police Hossein Sajedinia. They confessed to being deceived into appearing in the clip by an unnamed man and woman.
In the footage, the arrested Iranians said they there were “tricked,” and had made the video for private consumption, and never intended for it to be publicly shared.
Is happiness a crime?
Mehriran tweeted :
— مهریران (@mehri912) May 21, 2014 
Sheema Kalbasi tweeted :
— Sheema Kalbasi (@IranianWoman) May 21, 2014 
Potkin Azarmehr tweeted :
— potkin azarmehr (@potkazar) May 21, 2014 
Article printed from Global Voices: https://globalvoices.org
URL to article: https://globalvoices.org/2014/05/22/the-happy-video-that-got-six-young-people-sent-to-jail/
URLs in this post:
 Pharrell Williams: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pharrell_Williams
 all but one of these young people were released: http://news.yahoo.com/iran-happy-pharrell-142956886.html
 #FreeHappyIranians: https://twitter.com/search?q=%23FreeHappyIranians&src=hash
 #Happiness: https://twitter.com/search?q=%23Happiness&src=hash
 May 21, 2014: https://twitter.com/HassanRouhani/statuses/469100985798111232
 appear: http://en.iranwire.com/features/5778/
 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N5jyIR3NdjE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N5jyIR3NdjE
 tweeted: https://twitter.com/mehri912/status/468978622003302400
 pic.twitter.com/gjzCIfuGPk: http://t.co/gjzCIfuGPk
 May 21, 2014: https://twitter.com/mehri912/statuses/468978622003302400
 tweeted: https://twitter.com/IranianWoman/status/469075396726501376
 #ShariaLaw: https://twitter.com/search?q=%23ShariaLaw&src=hash
 #freehappyiranians: https://twitter.com/search?q=%23freehappyiranians&src=hash
 pic.twitter.com/73HYmsYcry: http://t.co/73HYmsYcry
 May 21, 2014: https://twitter.com/IranianWoman/statuses/469075396726501376
 tweeted: https://twitter.com/potkazar/status/469020143763591168
 #iran: https://twitter.com/search?q=%23iran&src=hash
 May 21, 2014: https://twitter.com/potkazar/statuses/469020143763591168
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