A court in Cairo, Egypt has sentenced six female influencers for their TikTok videos that allegedly violate the country’s family values, according to local media reports.
Among the Egyptian influencers who have been arrested include Haneen Hossam and Mowada Eladhm, who have millions of followers on the Chinese-operated platform. They are sentenced to two years’ imprisonment and fines amounting to $18,800 (AED69,000). Meanwhile, three other young influencers were sentenced to two years of jail time, and another woman, to three years of jail time and a fine.
In the verdict, which can still be appealed, the judges said that the female influencers violate the country’s family principles with their indecent dance videos and photos. They added that the women—specifically Hossam and Eladm—also incited “debauchery” and encouraged human trafficking.
Among the videos of the two include those posing next to sports carts, wearing heavy makeup, dancing in their kitchens, and donning tight clothing. They have also posted clips of them dancing in elite discos in Egypt prior to the lockdown as a result of the pandemic.
“They just want followers. They are not part of any prostitution network, and did not know this is how their message would be perceived by prosecutors,” Samar Shabana, a member of the legal team, told international news agencies.
In addition, human rights expert Vanessa Ullrich said that the arrest of the Egyptian female influencers is “an outrageous attack on civil liberties.”
“The ruling shows how the Egyptian authorities use trumped-up and vague charges like ‘violation of family values’ and ‘incitement to debauchery’ against women influencers to control online platforms and strengthen patriarchal social and legal systems,” she told DW.
Photo credit: Khaled Desouki/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images