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The six dancers and the video's director have been sentenced in court

Iranian ‘Happy’ dancers sentenced to 91 lashes

The seven dancers have been given a suspended six month jail term and that can be activated if they ‘reoffend’

The seven young Iranians arrested for recording a video of themselves performing Pharrell's "Happy" have been given suspended sentences of 91 lashes and six months in jail. The suspended sentences mean that they're off the hook – but if any of them commit a similar offence within three years, they'll face the full punishment.

The defendants' lawyer Farshid Rofugaran told Iran Wire: "A suspended sentence becomes null and void after a certain period of time. 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."

Under Iranian law, it is illegal for a woman to appear in public without wearing the hijab. Iranian authorities demanded an investigation into the "vulgar" clip once they spotted the female dancers in the video without them. The six "Happy" dancers were arrested, detained and forced to apologise on national television. 

The guilty party found support from Pharrell himself, who described the arrest as "beyond sad", with exiled Iranian journalist Masih Alinejad describing the conviction as "just awful, they're just young kids not involved with politics".

Amnesty International also condemned the trial. Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, the organisation's Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa spoke of the absurdity of the situation. "With these sentences, the absurd meets the unjust. These convictions flagrantly flout Iran’s obligation to respect the right to freedom of expression. If the sentences are ultimately carried out, these individuals will be prisoners of conscience.”

It's unclear as to whether the group will appeal or not. “We can accept the verdict or appeal,” says Rofugaran. “I will do what my clients want me to do. We are happy that both the prison sentences and the lashes are suspended.”

Watch the "Happy" video below: