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      World Cup Video Gets Three Arrested in Iran

      World Cup Video Gets Three Arrested in Iran World Cup Video Gets Three Arrested in Iran World Cup Video Gets Three Arrested in Iran
      Image via YouTube/Farshad Hosseini

      2014 World Cup

      World Cup Video Gets Three Arrested in Iran

      By Jordan Larson

      Three Iranians have been arrested for appearing in and working on a celebratory World Cup music video, according to Iran’s official Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA). In the video, which was uploaded to YouTube on June 10, men and women — some not wearing the mandatory headscarf — sing and dance in support of the Iranian soccer team.

      Police Chief Col. Rahmatollah Taheri told IRNA that the video includes scenes shot both outside of and within Iran, including the city of Shahroud, where the three — two 23-year-olds who appeared in the film, and a 26-year-old photographer — were arrested. Taheri also refers to the video as “vulgar,” according to the Associated Press, and urged Iranian youth not to engage in such behaviors.

      The song, "Gole Iran," was written and performed by the seven-member Ajam Band. According to the video's credits, six others were involved in directing, editing, filming, and graphics. However, it's unclear which three of these individuals were arrested.

      Iran Just Changed its Mind on Banning WhatsApp. Read more here.

      This is not the first arrest in Iran that has resulted from a homemade singing and dancing video. Six young men and women were arrested in May for dancing to the Pharrell Williams song “Happy,” though they were released shortly after. The crimes committed in the video include dancing to Western pop music, women declining to wear the mandatory headscarf, and disseminating an unlicensed video through an illegal web site.

      Most of these types of videos go ignored in Iran. It is believed that the arrests in May may have been a result of the video's popularity.

      Follow Jordan Larson on Twitter: @jalarsonist

      Topics: iran, middle east, censorship, police, video, 2014 world cup, persecution, freedom of speech


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