Five social media influencers sentenced to jail in Egypt over ‘indecent’ videos

An Egyptian court on Monday sentenced five young women to two years in prison each for posting “indecent videos” on the video-sharing app TikTok.

Social media influencers Haneen Hossam, Mowada al-Adham and three other women, who weren’t publicly identified, were found guilty of promoting immorality and “violating public morals,” Agence France-Presse reported.

Hossam is a 20-year-old Cairo University student who has about one million followers on TikTok and Instagram.

She was arrested in April after posting a clip explaining how girls could earn money by working with her to broadcast videos — which authorities interpreted as promotion for young women to sell sex online, according to the South China Morning Post.

Authorities arrested Adham in May after she posted satirical videos on TikTok and Instagram, where she has at least two million followers.

The three other women were charged with helping Hossam and Al-Adham manage their social media accounts.

The sentences, which can still be appealed, also included a $19,000 fine for each of the women.

Their lawyer Ahmed Hamza al-Bahqiry said the women were also facing separate charges over the sources of their funds.

Egypt, a conservative Muslim nation, has been cracking down on female singers and dancers over online content it deems too suggestive.

Women’s rights lawyer Intissar al-Saeed said the recent verdict was “shocking but expected.”

“It is still a dangerous indicator…,” the attorney told AFP. “Regardless of the divergent views on the content presented by the girls on TikTok, it still is not a reason for imprisonment.”


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