An Egyptian court has jailed five young women for two years for posting “indecent” dance videos on TikTok.
The verdict against Haneen Hossam, Mowada al-Adham and three others came after they had posted footage on video-sharing app TikTok.
The ruling, which can be appealed, included a fine of 300,000 Egyptian pounds ($18,750) for each defendant, the source noted.
Haneen Hossam, 20, a Cairo University student, was charged for 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.
Mawada al-Adham, a TikTok and Instagram influencer with at least two million followers, was accused of publishing indecent photos and videos on social media.
The three other women were charged with helping Hossam and Al-Adham manage their social media accounts, according to the public prosecution.
Al-Adham’s lawyer Ahmed el-Bahkeri confirmed the sentences and said they would appeal the verdict.
Eladhm’s lawyer, Ahmed el-Bahkeri, confirmed the sentencing, saying the prosecution deemed Eladhm’s photos and videos “disgraceful and insulting.”
“Eladhm was crying in court. Two years? 300,000 Egyptian pounds? This is really something very tough to hear,” said Samar Shabana, the attorney’s assistant.
“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,” she added, in reference to their posts encouraging young women to share videos and chat with strangers in exchange for money on another social media platform.
A widely circulated online petition described the arrests as a “systematic crackdown that targets low-income women,” following the arrest 10 female TikTok users have been detained or prosecuted by authorities in recent months.
Hossam was arrested in April after posting a three-minute clip telling her 1.3 million followers that girls could make money by working with her.
In May, authorities arrested Adham who had posted satirical videos on TikTok and Instagram.
Lawyer el-Bahkeri said the young women were facing separate charges over the sources of their funds.