See How The World Responded When These Young Iranians Were Arrested For Dancing To 'Happy' On Video

Maz Ali Curator:

It's such a shame when the law of the land epically fails to keep pace with culture. Case in point below. This certainly isn't the most egregious example, but it is an interesting situation where archaic rules and pop culture collide, sparking an international commotion. Suffice it to say, the outpouring of support for these young people has been overwhelming.

Here's the full (and utterly delightful) fan video that's causing such a stir:

The song creator himself expressed his disappointment over the situation:

And contrary to the actions of Tehran police, Iran's president later tweeted words of support, presumably, for the young people who were arrested:

Update: Since this story broke, several of the people involved in the video have been released, but the video director remains in custody. We've yet to know what legal repercussions they'll face.

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Narrator: This is the video which has gone viral since it first uploaded a month ago. It appears to show a group of young Iranians dancing on the rooftops of Tehran to Pharrel Williams's tune. Like many other Pharrel fans around the world, they made their own video of his song. On Tuesday night, Tehran's police chief said they had detained six young people in connection with the video. Iranian state television then showed six people facing away from the camera. The detainees confessed, saying they were deceived into making the video. Following the state TV program, a huge campaign started on social media, both inside and outside Iran. #FreeHappyIranians is now trending on Twitter and Facebook.

Pharrel Williams has also made a statement on his official Facebook page: "It is beyond sad that these kids were arrested for trying to spread happiness." The Iranian regime disapproves of dancing and of women showing their hair. Sharia law also does not allow men and women to socialize together. Iran's police chief has said, "The people arrested in connection with the video were not behaving in accordance with social norms." He said, "The video of them dancing was obnoxious." Roja Assadi, BBC News

There may be small errors in this transcript.

Original by BBC News. If this story hits home for you in any way and you'd like to become involved, check out the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran.


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