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Egypt sentences 2 TikTok women to 6 years for ‘inciting prostitution’

October 1, 2020 at 12:48 pm

TikTok – a social media video app on 21 February 2020 [Mustafa Murat Kaynak/Anadolu Agency]

Egypt has sentenced two TikTok influencers to six years in prison for “inciting prostitution”.

Sherifa Rafat and her daughter Nora Hisham, known as Sherry Hanam and Zamorrdoa, have also been fined 100,000 Egyptian pounds ($6,356). The prosecution has said that they will remain under police supervision for three years after they’re released.

Sherry’s official YouTube page has almost 70,000 subscribers and has a selection of videos, each with thousands of views. The latest is her sitting on a sofa fully dressed, talking about pregnancy.

The mother and daughter were arrested on 10 June, charged with “using social media to solicit prostitution,” and kept in pretrial detention.

Egyptian lawyer Ashraf Farahat, who is well known for pursuing female social media stars, reported the two women to the public prosecutor.

WATCH: Rape, power and corruption: Is this Egypt’s MeToo moment? 

Farahat has an online campaign, Let’s clean it, which targets female TikTok influencers he says “violate family values”.

Over the past several months Egypt has arrested several women on charges ranging from “disturbing family values”, “prostitution” and “inciting debauchery and immorality”.

The women have large followings on TikTok and post videos of themselves lip-syncing to pop music, or just explaining to other women how they can earn money online by raising the number of followers.

The crackdown on female Tiktok stars started in April and has seen nine women arrested.

In August, thousands of people signed an online petition to put pressure on the Egyptian government to free the TikTok women from prison.

Egyptian authorities have waged a war on women’s right to express themselves.

Women’s rights advocates say Egypt’s legal system does not protect females and instead punishes them when they speak out about sexual violence and abuse.