share

6 Iranian youths arrested over 'Happy' video

Pharrell expresses his sadness at the arrest of Iranian youths who filmed their own 'Happy' video

By Nalisa Alia Amin | Published: 22 May 2014

Video: POOYA JAHANDAR

You’ve all heard Pharrell Williams’ hit single Happy as an anthem for optimism, but it seems that the Iranian government isn’t that happy about it. Recently six youths from Tehran, Iran were arrested by authorities due to 'obnoxious' behaviour after they uploaded a video on YouTube of them dancing to the hit single. Fortunately, the detention only lasted a day as the young men and women were released this morning, except for the director.

Since the release of the song last year, Happy has been a global online phenomenon, with people all over the world creating their own versions of the video. We even made our own Kuala Lumpur version

The Happy in Tehran video earned more than 165,000 views before it was made private due to the attraction of the national authorities. According to Iran's state-run IRNA News Agency, police chief Hossein Sajedinia said the "vulgar clip" has "hurt public chastity".

Pharrell even took notice of the incident and tweeted his disappointment yesterday.

Pharrell’s not alone in his disappointment; netizens have made the hashtag #FreeHappyIranians on Twitter to protest the arrest.

Prior to the video's release, one of the video’s participants 'Neda' had spoken to IranWire, stating that she and her friends were aware of the risk in making the video. "We were really afraid. Whenever somebody looked out of a window or someone passed by, we ducked behind a door to make sure we were not seen… We wanted to tell the world that the Iranian capital is full of lively young people and change the harsh and rough image that the world sees on the news."


Most Popular

Advertisement

MORE, MORE, MORE

Top stories 20Jan17

Top stories 20Jan17

Also, Rain marries Kim Tae Hee, Lindsay Lohan may have converted to Islam and Uniqlo's collection with Inès de la Fressange is almost here

Top stories 13Jan17

Top stories 13Jan17

Also, Nora Danish raps, Selena Gomez kisses The Weeknd and Damien Chazelle's 'La La Land' nabs seven Golden Globes awards

SG Art Week 2017

SG Art Week 2017

Ahead of Art Stage Singapore 2017, we previewed exhibits at Sullivan+Strumpf Gallery and Pearl Lam Galleries

Emma's singing

Emma's singing

Great timing! The new 'Beauty and the Beast' teaser will help us forget about that creepy Belle doll

ELLE Instagram
Top stories 6Jan2017

Top stories 6Jan2017

Plus, Fattah Amin and Ed Sheeran release new music, Janet Jackson gives birth, and Clinique collaborates with Crayola

Advertisement
Not just a zombie

Not just a zombie

"Hawa symbolises how racial discrimination, the virus, gets in the way of true unity in our nation," director Tan Ce Ding says

NYE 2017 playlist

NYE 2017 playlist

We asked a few of our friends and colleagues to tell us what they're listening to ring in the new year

ELLE Instagram