Six Iranians are behind bars after appearing in a fan video set to a Pharrell Williams song.
"OK, you know that song 'Happy' by Pharrell Williams? Well, dancing to 'Happy' can apparently get you arrested in Iran." (Via HLN)
You heard right. According to CNN, the Iranian Students' News Agency says police arrested three men and three women because they were featured in an "obscene video clip that offended the public morals and was released in cyberspace."
And Tuesday, the group was forced to confess and apologize on state television, where several of the accused said they had no idea the clip would be posted online and claimed they were tricked into getting involved. (Via YouTube / IranPoletik )
The New York Times reports the seemingly harmless video, titled "Happy in Tehran," had more than 165,000 views before it was discovered by authorities and taken down.
But it somehow found its way back online Tuesday — and many are wondering what about the clip made Tehran police act so drastically. (Via YouTube / POOYA JAHANDAR)
According to BBC, the group didn't have a permit to shoot the music video, which is technically required by law in Iran.
But the biggest problem authorities had with the video? Apparently, it was the singing and dancing.
"When it comes to singing and dancing in Iran, the laws are harsh, but they're also vague and sometimes not written. But generally speaking, men and women cannot sing and dance among one another." (Via CNN)
The arrests and subsequent televised apology have sparked outrage across the globe, giving birth to the Twitter hashtag #FreeHappyIranians.
"No wonder they were rioting in the streets for a degree of freedom and a voice in their elections. What kind of society is this that makes these people confess on television?" (Via Fox News)
Even Pharell Williams himself spoke out about the incident on his Facebook page Tuesday. Along with an article about the arrests, the singer posted the message, "It is beyond sad that these kids were arrested for trying to spread happiness."
The arrests come just days after several of the video's participants proudly shared links to the clip on social media. (Via Facebook / Reihane Taravati)
No word on how long the group will remain behind bars.