The group of young Iranian men and women who released a YouTube video showing them dancing to pop star Pharrell Williams’s hit song “Happy” have been sentenced to six months in jail in addition to 91 lashes, their attorney is quoted as saying by the IranWire news agency.
While the sentence is a suspended sentence, Iranian authorities reportedly can impose it anytime within the next three years.
The video shows the group of men and unveiled women dancing on rooftops in Tehran to Williams's hit song.
Following their arrests earlier this year, the group appeared on Iranian state-run TV, admitting that what they did was wrong and said the video was not meant to be posted online. "They had promised us not to publish the video," one of the young women arrested said on the show.
News of their arrest sparked international outrage on social media, with Williams himself pleading for their release via his Twitter account.
“Fortunately, the sentences were suspended,” the group’s lawyer, Farshid Rofugaran told IranWire.
“A suspended sentence becomes null and void after a certain period of time,” Rofugaran said. “When it’s a suspended sentence, the verdict is not carried out, but if during this period a similar offense is committed, then the accused is subject to legal punishment and the suspended sentence will then be carried out as well.”
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