Police State

Iranians Sentenced to 91 Lashes for Dancing in Public

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Six Iranians who danced to Pharrell Williams’ song “Happy” probably aren’t feeling that way after receiving what most would consider a harsh sentence for dancing in public to the hit song.

According to The Telegraph, three men and three women mimicked the singer’s video in May in a viral video. The video eventually caught the attention of Iranian authorities, who arrested the group for violating Iran’s vulgarity laws, which prohibit public displays of dancing.

The six were reportedly forced to express remorse on television. Siavash Taravati, whose sister was in the video, told The Telegraph that “the IRIB’s (Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting) action” in displaying the confession was “outrageous.”

“Apparently they first arrest people without any charge or civil right to defend themselves, then interrogate them and then make them confess and finally broadcast their show,” he said.

As noted in the report, the group has been sentenced to 91 lashes each. They’ve also been sentenced to a suspended sentence of six months in prison.

The director of the video has also been sentenced to 91 lashes. And he’s received a suspended sentence of a year behind bars.

Meanwhile, strict laws have also been displayed in other countries this year.

North Korean male students are required to have the “Dear Leader” haircut.

And atheists are now considered terrorists in Saudi Arabia. Any citizen or foreigner residing in the country who “calls for atheist thought in any form or calls into question the fundamentals of the Islamic religion on which this country is based” can be thrown in jail.

Photo credit: Flickr/blondinrikard