The young Iranians who were arrested for recording the Tehran version of Pharrel Williams’ “Happy” have been released, according to a CNN report on Thursday. The six persons arrested in Iran for dancing in the YouTube video have been set free. However, the director of the video was not released, says the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran.
In an Instagram post by Reihane Taravati, one of the six dancers, she asserted that she is grateful to Pharrell Williams – who vehemently denounced the arrests - and everyone else who cared about those incarcerated after performing in the video. Sajedinia ordered that the three men and three women who helped in making the video be arrested. The reason for the arrest was because the police chief thought the video was an obscene video clip that offended the public morals and was released in cyberspace. The six persons were forced to repent on government television.
In spite of the arrests and comments by police authorities, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said that “happiness” is the people’s right, according to Fox News. He stated, “We shouldn’t be too hard on behaviors caused by joy,” via his Twitter account. The comment is reminiscent of comments he made a year ago.
The Iranian version of the popular “Happy” video shows the dancers dancing around in various settings much like persons did in Pharrell Williams’ original video. In the Iranian video, one concern of traditionalists is that the women appeared without their headscarves. Also, there are those who say women are not supposed to act like the women did in the video unless with their spouse. Leading up to the release of the Iranian dancers, Twitter exploded with the hashtag #freehappyiranians with the message that happiness is not a crime.