Pharrell Williams‘ smash hit “Happy” has truly taken the world by storm. Since its release in November of last year there have been more than 1,500 fan tribute videos go viral on YouTube. The phenomenon is so popular that it has made its way around the world to the Islamic Republic of Iran… where fun gets smacked in the face and dragged off to jail.
On Tuesday (May 20), six young Iranian citizens were arrested in Tehran for posting a video online of them dancing to Pharrell Williams’ song “Happy.”
“After a vulgar clip which hurt public chastity was released in cyberspace, police decided to identify those involved in making that clip,” stated Tehran police chief Hossein Sajedinia to the Iranian news agency, ISNA. ” He continued, “Following a series of intelligence and police operations and after coordinating with the judiciary, all the suspects were identified and arrested.”
Here’s the “vulgar clip” in question:
OMG! I am so offended! Please, lock these hooligans up and throw away the key!
This is just another outrageous display of further aggression against human rights by a government which censors even its own elected leaders. Only days before the arrests, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani gave a public speech in which he encouraged his country’s ruling Islamic regime to allow its citizens more online freedom and decried government sanctioned censorship as “cowardly.” Meant for widespread television distribution, the speech was, nevertheless, ignored by state broadcaster IRIB. Ahh… freedom.
UPDATE: According to CNN, the six Iranians shown dancing in the video have been released by authorities. The video’s director, however, is still in custody.