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An Egyptian court has sentenced several young women to two years in prison and a hefty monetary fine on Monday for posting “indecent” dance videos on TikTok.
According to the reports, two women – Haneen Hossam and Mawada el-Adham, who are in their early 20s, have been charged by the Egyptian court for their social media posts. The two women, who are extremely popular on TikTok, has amassed millions of followers for their video snippets.
Who is Haneen Hossam?
Haneen Hossam, a 20-year-old student of the Cairo University, is now accused of ‘encouraging young women to meet men through a video app and build friendships with them’, receiving a fee according to the number of followers watching these chats’. Hossam has about 1.3million followers on the popular social media platform.
The Egyptian authorities have arrested Hossam in April after she posted a TikTok video asking girls to work for her and get paid in return.
The court has imposed a fine of 300,000 Egyptian pounds, nearly $19,000 on the women, for “violating the values and principles of the Egyptian family, promoting human trafficking and inciting debauchery”.
Mawada el-Adham: arrested for posting dance videos
Another female TikTok and Instagram influencer Mawada Al-Adham has also been named in the prosecution statement.
The 22-year-old Instagram influencer has at least two million followers. Al-Adham is also accused of publishing ‘indecent’ photos and videos on social media platforms.
The Egyptian authorities arrested al-Adham in May after she had posted satirical videos on TikTok and Instagram. She is also imposed with a fine of 300,000 Egyptian pounds. Her lawyer Ahmed el-Bahkeri has said they will now appeal the verdict.
Seven others detained, petition launched
Not just Hossam and El-Adham, three other women have also been charged for assisting the two to manage their social media accounts.
Following the court’s decision to charge the young girls, there has been a massive uproar in the country against such harsh decisions. The critics have described the crackdown on social media stars an assault on self-expression.
Meanwhile, an online petition has been launched on Change.org by a group of women seeking to “stop targeting women on TikTok” and demanded the immediate release of the women and named others besides Hossam and al-Adham.
Menna Abdel-Aziz, Sherifa Refaat also known as Sherry Hanem, Nora Hesham, Manar Samy, Hadeer Hady and Bassant Mohamed are the others who have been detained by the Egyptian authorities in last few months for their social media posts. The petition calls for the release of all nine detained women. Reports say that the women were portrayed as a part of a prostitution network by the prosecution.
Several organisations and individuals have criticised the increasing instances of stamping on feedoms of women and excessive moral policing by the authorities in the Islamic nation.