Six Iranians were arrested on Tuesday for appearing in a cover version of the popular song 'Happy' by Pharell Williams.
The youth were arrested for indulging in “obscene behaviour”, one of them said in a post online. Also, the three women seen in the video were not wearing head scarves as directed by the Islamic law in Iran. The men and women were seeing lip syncing and dancing, and imitating the original video to the song 'Happy' which is about spreading happiness.
Here's the video that landed them in the jail:
A disappointed Pharell Williams tweeted about the incident, “It's beyond sad these kids were arrested for trying to spread happiness”.
It's beyond sad these kids were arrested for trying to spread happiness http://t.co/XV1VAAJeYI
— Pharrell Williams (@Pharrell) May 21, 2014
Interestingly, the arrest took place just days after Iran President Hassan Rouhani said that Iran must “embrace” the internet, and that the country should recognise the citizens' rights to connect to the World Wide Web.
The arrest drew widespread outrage globally, with even Iran's own president tweeting in solidarity.
He later showed support to them in a tweet which read “#Happiness is our people's right. We shouldn't be too hard on behaviors caused by joy.”
— Hassan Rouhani (@HassanRouhani) May 17, 2014
"#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
— Negar Mortazavi نگار (@NegarMortazavi) May 21, 2014
People all over Twitter came out to support the youths and started tweeting with the hashtag #FreeHappyIranians and made it was a trending topic on the microblogging site on Wednesday.
— Make it Happy (@letsmakeithappy) May 21, 2014
Stupid move, Iran. #FreeHappyIranians (Here's hoping EVERYONE arrested got released)
— PWN STAR (@PwnStar629) May 22, 2014
It's crazy that you just can't be happy everywhere #freehappyiranians
— MoE (@moe2578) May 22, 2014
Arrested for dancing!? Seriously man, get a grip #freehappyiranians
— ♕ Ayah Marar ♕ (@AyahMarar) May 22, 2014
This world is ridiculous!!! #FreeHappyIranians
— panshak zamani (@Iceprincezamani) May 21, 2014