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Egypt arrests another TikTok influencer as crackdown on social media continues

July 2, 2020 at 11:32 am

Egyptian TikTok influencer Manar Samy [Twitter]

Egyptian authorities have arrested another TikTok influencer after a lawyer accused her of prostitution.

Ashraf Farhat said Manar Samy was sharing immoral videos with the aim of attracting attention and earning money.

“Here is the ‘immoral video.’ Nothing immoral about it at all,” wrote former state TV broadcaster Shahira Amin on Twitter.

The video she shared shows Manar dancing on a beach with her dog with pop music playing in the background.

Manar’s detention is the latest in a string of immorality arrests targeting women as part of the Egyptian regime’s crackdown on social media.

On Saturday a high-profile belly dancer, Sama el-Masry, was sentenced to three years in prison and given a 300,000 Egyptian pound ($18,500) fine on charges of debauchery and immorality.

She was arrested in April for videos and photos she had posted on social media which the public prosecutor said were sexually suggestive.

READ: Egypt renews detention of mother of 2-year-old

The Cairo Misdemeanours Economic Court said she had violated family values and principles, a popular charge levelled against social media influencers.

In May, influencer Mowada Al-Adham was arrested for violating family values. The same month, a young woman who appeared online with a swollen and bruised face to tell how she had been raped by her friend was arrested by security forces.

Menna recounted how her friend Mazen Ibrahim raped her, stole her phone and then photographed her, whilst being helped by three other women.

TikTok star Haneen Hossam was arrested in April on charges of promoting prostitution after telling her followers how to make money on TikTok. She was released on bail and then rearrested this month.

Egyptians under President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi are witnessing an unprecedented crackdown for a wide array of alleged offences. Women, who were largely left alone and seen as a red line under previous administrations, have also been rounded up and imprisoned.