Back in May, six Iranians were arrested for making a fan-made Youtube video for Pharrell's song "Happy." The video featured three men and three unveiled women dancing to the hit song throughout the city of Tehran, which the Tehran Police Chief, Hossein Sajedina, deemed "an obscene video clip that offended public morals." Shortly after the arrests, the group was forced to apologize on national television, and then released on bail.
Despite their public shaming, it seemed like they wouldn't get into serious trouble. The President of Iran, Hassan Rouhani, even showed his support for the group on Twitter.
"#Happiness is our people's right. We shouldn't be too hard on behaviors caused by joy." 29/6/2013— Hassan Rouhani (@HassanRouhani) May 21, 2014
But today, the "Happy" dancers were sentenced to six months in prison, and 91 lashings.
The group's lawyer, Farshid Rofugaran, told the IranWire that the sentences are suspended. "A suspended sentence becomes null and void after a certain period of time," he said. For this particular case, that period will be three years. "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."
In simpler terms: we won't throw you in prison now but if you slip up at all during the next three years, you get six months and 91 lashings. Hopefully President Hassan Rouhani will step up and say something soon.