Friday, December 19, 2014


Iran

Iranian Youth In 'Happy' Video Freed, Director Still Detained

Reihaneh Taravati, one of six young Iranians detained for an online video, says she was released on May 21.
Reihaneh Taravati, one of six young Iranians detained for an online video, says she was released on May 21.
Six Iranian youths arrested in Tehran for dancing along to an American pop song in an online video reportedly were released on May 21, one day after being detained for "obscene" behavior.

Reihaneh Taravati, one of the young people in the video, announces her release on Instagram on May 21.

But the New York-based International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran said the video's director, Sassan Soleimani, remained in custody and reportedly would be prosecuted.

In the video, the three men and three women dance and lip synch to Pharrell Williams' international hit "Happy."

The women are not wearing headscarves, as demanded by Iran's Islamic law. Dancing in mixed company also is against the law in Iran.

WATCH: "Happy we are from Tehran":

Their arrest caused outrage among fans of the song around the world, who used social media to denounce the response by Iranian authorities as heavy-handed.

Williams on May 20 tweeted: "It's beyond sad these kids were arrested for trying to spread happiness."
 
Based on reporting by Reuters, AP, and AFP

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