Egypt has jailed five TikTok and Instagram stars for two years after they were found guilty of violating Egyptian family values.
The five women have also been fined almost $19,000 as part of a new campaign to crackdown on social media influencers.
One of those sentenced, Mawada al-Adham, was arrested in Egypt in May after publishing Tiktok and Instagram videos where she lip-synced to famous songs and danced in trendy clothes. And that was enough for the prosecutor to determine her videos were indecent.
State-owned website al-Ahram reported, “They are accused of violating the values and principles of Egyptian society and posting indecent photos and videos disturbing to public morals.”
“The Economic Court in Cairo sentenced Mawada al-Adham and Haneen Hossam and three others to two years in prison and fined them 300,000 Egyptian pounds each.”
Three women were also accused of taking part in inappropriate video calls with men.
The news has sent shockwaves across Egypt with campaigns starting to highlight the perceived injustice.
“We were left in utter shock. She did nothing wrong – my sister is not a criminal,” says Mawada al-Adham’s sister. “She only wanted to be famous and popular.” Mawada has more than three million followers on TikTok, and 1.6 million on Instagram.
An appeal process has begun and is scheduled for September 14 with Amnesty International calling for new laws.