The happy Iranians who were arrested for making the “Happy in Tehran” music video might have reason to be happier today. According to various reports circulating on social media, the young Iranians have been released on bail today after being detained by Iranian police Monday.
All people who made the— IranHumanRights.org (@ICHRI) May 21, 2014
Confirmed: Hoda called families of “Happy” youngsters.They— Nariman Gharib (@ListenToUs) May 21, 2014
Reihane Taravati, the video's art director, posted a picture of herself on Instagram today with the caption, "Hi I'm back. Thank you @pharrell and everyone who cared about us love you all so much and missed you so much."
Other family members of the people who were arrested posted on Facebook saying they had been released.
The homemade music video, which shows groups of young Iranians dancing to Pharrell’s hit “Happy” song throughout Iran, was posted online in April and quickly racked up more than 165,000 views on YouTube before it was taken down. However, copies of the video have continued to circulate on YouTube and Twitter.
Video courtesy of Youtube/POOYA JAHANDAR
The video also quickly caught the attention of government authorities in Iran, who were not so happy.
Three men and three women involved in the music video were arrested Monday and forced to publicly apologize on Iranian state television. Government authorities referred to the video as an "obscene video clip that offended the public morals," reported the state-run Iranian Student News Agency on Wednesday.
The video of the public broadcast shows the Iranians being questioned by a police officer and stating that they had no idea that the video would be disseminated publicly.
“Our dear youths should try to avoid these kinds of people and these kinds of problems,” the police officer told a reporter. “They should be absolutely certain that we were able to discover and indentify those individuals in a very short time.”
Video courtesy of Youtube/IranPoletik
News of the arrests of the happy Iranians quickly provoked outrage both in Iran and internationally, including from Pharrell himself. “It is beyond sad that these kids were arrested for trying to spread happiness,” Pharrell posted on Facebook.
The hashtag #freehappyiranians also quickly spread on Twitter, denouncing the arrests.
Even Iran's President, Hassan Rouhani, seemed to disagree with the arrests in a Tweet today.
— Hassan Rouhani (@HassanRouhani) May 21, 2014