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Police in Iran arrested six young people for dancing to Pharrell Williams’ hit song, “Happy.”
In the video, three young men and three young women were laughing and smiling, wearing sunglasses and singing to “Happy.” After hearing about the arrests, Williams took to Twitter and Facebook to say, "It's beyond sad these kids were arrested for trying to spread happiness," according Associated Press.
It's beyond sad these kids were arrested for trying to spread happiness http://t.co/XV1VAAJeYI
— Pharrell Williams (@Pharrell) May 21, 2014
On Tuesday, Tehran police chief Hossein Sajedinia said that the three men and three women were detained. He explained on state television that they created a video in which they were dancing in public and some of them were not wearing a hijab.
Laws in Iran ban women from dancing or appearing outside without the hijab. Their television network aired blurred pictures of the video on the news coverage explaining the arrests.
President Hassan Rouhani campaigned for greater cultural and social freedoms during his election. Many traditional citizens marched over women wearing hijabs. Their goal was to stop the increase of “decadent” Western culture where any manner of dress is acceptable in public.
Rouhani actually appeared to support those arrested in a tweet.
"#Happiness is our people's right. We shouldn't be too hard on behaviors caused by joy." 29/6/2013
— Hassan Rouhani (@HassanRouhani) May 21, 2014