Cairo: An Egyptian court has sentenced five female social media stars to two years in prison each on charges of violating public morals.
According to details, the verdict against Haneen Hossam, Mowada al-Adham and three other women came to light when they released a video on the video-sharing app TikTok.
Cairo’s economic court sentenced Haneen Hossam, Mowada al-Adham and three others to two years in prison for violating society’s values, court sources said.
“The decision, which can be appealed, includes a fine of 300,000 Egyptian pounds (18 18,750) per defendant,” the source said.
Haneen Hossam was arrested in April for posting a three-minute clip in which she told his 1.3 million followers that girls could make money working with her.
Authorities arrested Mowada al-Adham in May for posting satirical videos on TikTok and Instagram, where she has at least 2 million followers.
Lawyer Ahmed Hamza Al-Baqari said that young women are also facing separate charges against their sources of funds.
However, the arrests have highlighted the social divisions in the conservative Muslim country, which are based on individual freedoms and ‘social norms’.
Human rights lawyer Tariq al-Awadi had earlier told AFP that the arrests of the women showed how society was fighting the rapid rise of modern communication technology.
Internet access has reached 40 per cent of Egypt’s young population, more than 100 million.
Women’s rights lawyer Intisar Al-Saeed said: “This decision is shocking but it was expected. We will see what happens on appeal.”
“This is still a dangerous sign, regardless of the different views on the content presented by the girls on TikTok, there is still no reason for arrest,” he said.
Egypt has cracked down on online content by female singers and dancers in recent years, saying the content was racist.
Last month, an Egyptian court sentenced belly dancer Sama El-Masri to three years in prison for inciting “cheating” on social media after he posted a video of the dance on TikTok.
Also in 2018, a female singer was arrested on charges of ‘inciting immorality’ after a video clip of a sexual dance went viral.