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Iranians Who Made Video of Pharrell's 'Happy' Sentenced

Sentence won't be carried out unless defendants are found guilty of future crimes
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 19, 2014 10:12 AM CDT
Iranians Who Made Video of Pharrell's 'Happy' Sentenced
In this frame grab taken from video posted to YouTube, people dance to Pharrell Williams' hit song "Happy" on a rooftop in Tehran, Iran.    (AP Photo, File)

(Newser) – Six young Iranian men and women videotaped dancing to Pharrell Williams' "Happy" and the video's director have been sentenced to suspended jail terms and lashes, says a defense lawyer. Farshid Rofugaran said today that the seven have been sentenced to six months in jail and 91 lashes each, though the verdict won't be carried out unless the defendants commit crimes and are found guilty in the future.

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He says the suspended jail term is the punishment for acting in the video, while the lashes are for ignoring Islamic norms. He says one of the defendants also received another suspended sentence of six months over charges of possessing alcohol, which is banned in Iran. The seven men and women were arrested in May, but they were released soon afterward. (Read more Pharrell Williams stories.)

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