#BBCtrending: The call to free 'Happy' Iranians
- 21 May 2014
Reports suggest some of the Iranians arrested for a YouTube version of the Pharrell Williams' song Happy may have been released on bail, after thousands used Twitter to condemn their detention.
An image of one of the women was posted to her Instagram account a short while ago. The reports have not been confirmed.
The story of the group of young Iranians arrested for doing what thousands around the world have already done - filming their own viral version of the track - caused a wave of reaction on Twitter from within Iran as well as across the world. The singer Pharrell Williams himself tweeted: "It's beyond sad these kids were arrested for trying to spread happiness."
On Twitter, #FreeHappyIranians was started on Tuesday, the same day as the arrests, by Iranian writer and broadcaster Kambiz Hosseini who is based in New York. Since then the hashtag has been tweeted more than 9,000 times. People have been sharing images of the group, as well as the video, with many tweets decrying the arrests. There were jokes too: "Don't laugh, never laugh, don't you know it is a crime?" one tweet said. Another added: "Worst government PR move this year: Arrest citizens making video showing the world that they're happy."
Others blamed the government. "They have filtered our happiness too. Was this the government of hope and wisdom, Mr Rouhani?" said one tweet. "You said you have come to bring back happiness to Iranians. Do you remember?" Criticism like this seems to have had some effect. A tweet also emerged from the account widely believed to be associated with Iran's President Hassan Rhouani. It retweeted its own quote from July 2013: "#Happiness is our people's right. We shouldn't be too hard on behaviours caused by joy. 29/6/2013"
Reporting by India Rakusen
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