Pharrell Williams today publicly condemned the Iranian authorities after a group of youths were arrested for posting a video online of themselves dancing to his hit song Happy.
The American singer pleaded with the country’s president, Hassan Rouhani, who yesterday appeared to offer some support for the youngsters, tweeting: “#Happiness is our people’s right. We shouldn’t be too hard on behaviors caused by joy.”
Williams retaliated by posting: “Then free these kids”, after describing their arrest as “beyond sad” to his 3.5million followers.
“So with all due love n’ respect we just ask that people be allowed to express themselves at least with happiness,” he added.
Six young men and women were arrested by police this week after their video, which was uploaded to YouTube in March, amassed thousands of views.
Watch the video :
Their arrest sparked global outrage, with Twitter users launching a #FreeHappyIranians campaign in support of the group who had joined in on a global trend in which people from all over the world uploaded videos of themselves dancing to the song to spread cheer.
Iranian police chief Hossein Sajedinia described the clip as “vulgar” and harmful to “public chastity”, while others said it strays from tradition.
In response to Williams’s most recent message, one user argued dancing in public was against “Islamic norms”,
The six were released on bail yesterday, according to the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, after they appeared on state-broadcast television to apologise for their actions.
The footage, which was later published online with subtitles, identified them as actors who had been “tricked” into performing the song as part of an audition.
Source : http://www.standard.co.uk