“Happy” People Are Given Suspended Sentences

“Happy” People Are Given Suspended Sentences September 19, 2014

Do you remember that thing about people who reenacted the “Happy” video in Iran and then were arrested and Rouhani reacted against their arrest and they were released? Their trial is now over and their sentence is decided.

The sentence is 91 lashes and six months of jail, but thankfully the sentence is suspended, meaning they don’t have to go through with it. Via BBC English:

Six Iranians arrested for appearing in a video dancing to Pharrell Williams’ song Happy have been sentenced to up to one year in prison and 91 lashes, their lawyer says.

The sentences were suspended for three years, meaning they will not go to prison unless they reoffend, he adds.

The video shows three men and three unveiled women dancing on the streets and rooftops of Tehran.

In six months, it has been viewed by over one million people on YouTube.

The majority of people involved in the video were sentenced to six months in prison, with one member of the group given one year, lawyer Farshid Rofugaran was quoted by Iran Wire as saying.

The “Happy we are from Tehran” video was brought to the attention of the Iranian authorities in May, after receiving more than 150,000 views.

This is ultimately good news because these people are not really punished, but it’s also bad news because they had to go through what they went through for such a harmless video. The lashes will not happen, but they were mentioned for the usual reason – instilling terror. But I was worried that out of pure spite the judiciary (which is controlled by hardliners) would give them heavy sentences, so it seems this case is now closed with the minimal amount of cruelty that the cruel courts of Iran are capable of.

Yes, I know “it could be worse” is hardly a consolation, but Iran is a terrible country. Sighs.

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