The youngsters were rounded up by Iranian police for their "vulgar" video.
A group of six young Iranians have been arrested in the city of Tehran for having uploaded a video to YouTube showing themselves dancing and miming to Pharrell Williams'Despicable Me 2 soundtrack hit, 'Happy.' The video reportedly conflicts with the country's interpretation of Islamic law which states that women should wear the Burkha at all times in public.
Six Young Iranians Have Been Arrested For Their Dancing Video To Pharrell's 'Happy.'
The Iranian authorities struck a blow for human rights when the six people featured in the video were rounded up, arrested, detained and forced to apologise. Iran's state-run national TV on Tuesday broadcast a programme showing men and women confessing with their backs to the camera.
"After a vulgar clip which hurt public chastity was released in cyberspace, police decided to identify those involved in making that clip," the city's policy chief Hossein Sajedinia told the Iranian news agency ISNA, Agence France-Presse reports. "Following a series of intelligence and police operations and after coordinating with the judiciary, all the suspects were identified and arrested."
The Youths Were Arrested & Forced To Confess They Violated Islamic Law.
The six Iranians have "confessed to their criminal acts," Sajedinia said. He also issued a warning on TV aimed at Iranian youth during which he stated that the police was vigilant and prepared to tackle those acting against the social norms.
The video, which has been viewed 185,000 times, finishes with a message from the makers, describing themselves as fans of Pharrell Williams and saying "'Happy was an excuse to be happy. We enjoyed every second of making it. Hope it puts a smile on your face."
The Singer Has Expressed His Sadness Towards The Incident That Involved His Hit Song.
The news of the individuals' arrests has spread quickly throughout social media and has even provoked a response from the 'Happy' singer himself: "It is beyond sad that these kids were arrested for trying to spread happiness," Pharrell wrote on Facebook. His song and music video have become an inspiration for thousands of copycat clips from across the globe celebrating the song's light-hearted message.
Interestingly, Iran's president Hassan Rouhani has also appeared to criticise the arrest by retweeting his own comment from last year, which stated "#Happiness is our people's right. We shouldn't be too hard on behaviours caused by joy."
The Iranian authority's reaction to the video directly contrasts with a video posted a month ago in the UK showing British Muslims from all walks of life dancing to the hit song in a campaign aiming to bring unity.
The apparent rebellion of the young Iranians against the strict ruling authority echoes that of the popular Facebook page "My Stealthy Freedom" which invites its users to post photos of themselves eschewing the headscarf.