The six young men and women who danced to Pharrell Williams’ hit song “Happy” in a video that went viral on YouTube, and were arrested for it, were released on bail one day later. However, the director of the video, Sassan Soleimani, remains detained. The young dances who were released on bail were told they would be prosecuted.
The youths’ dance video received over a hundred thousand views on YouTube before it was taken down and the youths arrested. They were then paraded on state television, where they were forced to issue statements of remorse and contrition.
The incident has reportedly caused widespread revulsion in Iran at the humiliation of the youths for a dance video in which they exclaimed their happiness.
If, however, Mr. Soleimani is not released and/or if criminal charges are actually filed against any of the young people involved in this harmless dance video, then:
We, the undersigned urge the international community at ALL levels to bring ALL possible pressure to bear upon the Islamic Republic of Iran to IMMEDIATELY and UNCONDTIONALLY drop all charges against any of the seven individuals involved in the making of the “Happy Iranians” video, and to start honoring its legally-binding human rights obligations under both international law and the Iranian Constitution.