Several Egyptian women have reportedly been sentenced to prison for posting "indecent" TikTok videos.
Late last month, Time reported that the young women were accused of "violating the values and principles of the Egyptian family," "inciting debauchery, and promoting human trafficking" — charges that entailed a fine of 300,000 Egyptian pounds (around $19,000) as well as a two year prison sentence.
In a statement made by the prosecution, only two defendants — 20-year-old Haneen Hossam and 22-year-old Mawada al-Adham — were named, while three unnamed women were also charged after helping run their TikTok accounts. And while al-Adham and Hossam's lawyers have said they will appeal the ruling, the New York Timesreported that most of the women are currently being held without bail.
Mawada El-Adham is one of at least 9 female #TikTok influencers arrested in #Egyp since April and charged with “violating family values. She has 3.1 million followers on TikTok. Last week she was sentenced to 2yrs in prison and a 300k ($19k) fine. #بعد_اذن_الاسرة_المصرية pic.twitter.com/aTgysjhBn2— Mona Eltahawy (@monaeltahawy) August 3, 2020
However, as also noted by Dazed, these recent rulings weren't the first time Egypt has penalized popular female influencers, as belly dancer Sama el-Masry was fined and sentenced to three years in prison on similar charges back in June — though the 42-year-old contested that the videos were shared without her consent.
In response to the verdicts, activists have launched a Change.org petition asking for the release of all five women and other female influencers who have been arrested for posting on social media.
Sign the petition, here.
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