Egypt's Prosecutor-General said yesterday that the young women convicted of inciting "debauchery" and "immorality" by posting "indecent" videos on the TikTok social media site had received funds from Israel.
During his meeting with a group of young Egyptians at the state-run National Training Academy, Hamada Al-Sawi pointed out that prosecutors checked the girls' bank accounts and found in one that money had been transferred from Israel.
Although Egyptian social media users sympathise with the convicted "TikTok girls" and defend what they claim to be the girls' "freedom", Al-Sawi said that the prosecutors had no choice but to stand up against "the crimes" that they are alleged to have committed.
"The reality is that if these girls get out of prison, they will return to the same crimes," he said. "One of the girls is now standing up in the [courtroom] cage holding the Qur'an, and after she leaves [prison], she will return to indecent videos."
During the summer, the Egyptian authorities arrested and charged a number of young women who were popular on TikTok and accused them of posting "indecent" videos. This sparked anger and dismay among critics who saw the wave of arrests and charges as a patriarchal crackdown on Egyptian women's freedoms and rights.