Iranians Detained for ‘Happy’ Video Are Released on Bail

One of the stars of “Happy in Tehran,” an exuberant music video that offended the sensibilities of Iran’s conservative judiciary, reported on Instagram Wednesday that she was free, three days after the police had stormed into her apartment and carted her and five friends off to jail.

The young woman, Reihane Taravati, posted a photograph of herself, captioned “Hi, I’m back,” and thanked everyone who had called for the group’s release. That included the singer Pharrell Williams, whose video for the song “Happy” had inspired the young Iranians to produce their cover version, joining thousands of their contemporaries in nations around the world. (Ms. Taravati also warned friends that she had lost control of her Facebook page.)



After days of interrogation and harsh treatment, all six of the detained dancers were released on bail Wednesday, the expatriate news site Iran Wire reported. Before they were set free, the group was paraded on state television as a warning to the youth of the nation that those who ignore strict Islamic standards of modesty in public will be punished.

Although the original copy of the “Happy in Tehran” cover, which was viewed more than 165,000 times, was removed from YouTube after it attracted the attention of the authorities, the arrests brought the clip even more attention. One copy of the video uploaded to the site on Tuesday racked up more than 300,000 views in 24 hours.

As the Iranian-American author Hooman Majd explained in his book about living in Tehran, “The Ministry of Guidance Invites You to Not Stay,” Iranians are compelled to adhere to Islamic rules of modesty and decorum in public that are often flouted in private.

The formerly clear line between public and private behavior, however, has become harder to locate in an era when social networks make it easier than ever for Iranians to share images recorded in and around their homes with each other, and with a global audience.

The arrests, which took…

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