“Happy” Video Participants to Go on Trial in September
The youths involved in making the “Happy in Tehran” dance video will be collectively put on trial on September 9, 2014, a source informed the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran.
The accused, who are being represented by several lawyers, were last summoned for questioning between June 16 and June 19. They were asked questions such as, “Whose idea was it to make the video?” and “Who uploaded the video on YouTube?”
The charges include “illegitimate relations,” “contact with foreign television networks,” “distribution of a video on the vulgar YouTube channel,” “failure to observe Islamic covering [hijab],” and “dancing.” Agents used personal photos and films confiscated during the arrests to pile additional charges against the accused.
On May 19, 2014, six individuals involved in the Iranian version of the popular “Happy” video by Pharrell Williams were detained and transferred to the Tehran Morality Police’s Vozara Complex. They were released two days later, after posting bail. Sassan Soleimani, the video’s alleged director, was arrested on May 20, 2014, and held in detention for several weeks.
The arrests triggered an international outcry, especially when the accused were featured in the news on Iranian state television, before they were formally charged, where they were forced to express remorse for their participation in the video.
In addition to Soleimani, others accused in the case include Reyhaneh Taravati, Neda Motameni, Afshin Sohrabi, Bardia Moradi, Roham Shamekhi, and Sepideh [no last name available].
Soleimani previously spent some time in prison for making a music video for the “Soosan Khanom” song by the popular Iranian band “Barobax.” Soleimani also said in a previous interview that he proposed the color purple as the campaign color for Hassan Rouhani’s 2013 presidential campaign.