Police released the six Iranians on Wednesday. Read more:
Iranian police arrested 6 youths Tuesday featured in a popular YouTube video of them dancing in Tehran to Pharell's song "Happy," and forced the arrested youth to appear on state TV for an interrogation, Bloomberg News reported.
A shortened version of the TV broadcast was uploaded to YouTube with English subtitles.
The original video was posted last month, and had more than 30,000 hits in four days before being removed, according to Bloomberg News. After news of the arrest broke, Iranian social media users shared this version of the video.
"We want to tell the world that Iran is a better place than what they think it is," one of the video makers, cited only as Neda, told Iran Wire in an April interview. "Despite all the pressures and limitations, young people are joyful and want to make the situation better." Neda also told Iran Wire that they were "really afraid" while filming. "Whenever somebody looked out of a window or someone passed by, we ducked behind a door to make sure we were not seen."
Earlier this week, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani publicly praised the importance of an open internet. A Twitter account associated with him retweeted key quotes from the speech.
Despite the fact that key Iranian politicians are on Twitter, the social network remains officially blocked in Iran. Nonetheless, Iranians expressed their anger at the arrests and started #FreeHappyIranians to garner support.
Former BuzzFeed World Reporter, Current BuzzFeed News Contributor
Contact Miriam Berger at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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