Iran 'Happy' dancers get suspended sentences

Seven Iranians who appeared in a video singing along to US pop song handed prison terms and lashes, both suspended.

    Iran 'Happy' dancers get suspended sentences
    The defendants, four men and three women, were detained by police in May [Youtube]

    Six Iranians who were accused of obscene behaviour for appearing in a video singing along to the American pop song "Happy" have been handed suspended sentences of 91 lashes and six months in prison.

    Another defendant, who faced heavier charges in connection to the video, was handed a suspended sentence of one year in jail and 91 lashes by the authorities.

    The sentences are suspended for three years, meaning that if any of the seven is found guilty of a similar offence, the punishment is then carried out, defence attorney Farshid Rofugaran told the AP news agency on Friday.

    The defendants, four men and three women, were detained by police in May after six of them were shown lip syncing to Pharrell Williams' hit song. They were released shortly afterwards.

    Rofugaran said the suspended jail term was the punishment for acting in the video and the lashes were for ignoring Islamic norms. 

    The arrests drew condemnation from the US singer and his fans through social media, as well as indirect criticism from President Hassan Rouhani.

    "The way to deal with cultural issues is cultural work, not policemen and [detention] vans and strong-arm tactics," the president told a gathering of conservative clerics in the religious city of Mashhad earlier this month.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    The woman who cleans up after 'lonely deaths' in Japan

    The woman who cleans up after 'lonely deaths' in Japan

    When somebody dies lonely and alone, Miyu Kojima steps in to clean their home and organise the mementos of their life.

    Putin and the 'triumph of Christianity' in Russia

    Putin and the 'triumph of Christianity' in Russia

    The rise of the Orthodox Church in Russia appears unstoppable, write filmmakers Glen Ellis and Viktoryia Kolchyna who went to investigate the close ties between the church and Putin.

    The chill effect: Is India's media running scared?

    The chill effect: Is India's media running scared?

    Much of India's media spurns a scoop about the son of PM Modi's right-hand man. Plus, NFL as platform for race politics.