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Egypt sentences TikTok girl to 3 years, acquits son of business tycoon

Renad Emad [renademadd/Instagram]
Renad Emad [renademadd/Instagram]

A court in Cairo has sentenced a female TikTok influencer to three years in prison for "violating society's values and principles."

Minatullah Emad, known as Renad Emad, was arrested in July last year from a café in the Dokki neighbourhood of Cairo.

During her interrogation Renad allegedly admitted that she had engaged in prostitution with young men for money.

The prosecution also accused her of taking part in human trafficking and "exploiting" her younger sister to get hits.

Over the past year several female social media influencers have been arrested and charged with immorality, debauchery and violating family values after they created videos of themselves singing and dancing or modelled clothes.

One influencer, Manar Samy, was accused of "stirring up instincts" after she posted a video of herself dancing on a beach, fully clothed.

The charges have been slammed by rights campaigners as degrading and bogus.

READ: Egypt arrests diplomat who criticised handling of Ethiopia dam row

In August last year more than 80,000 people signed a petition to put pressure on the Egyptian government to release what have become known as the TikTok women.

In May 15 human rights organisations including the Committee for Justice signed a statement condemning the continued prosecution and trial of TikTok and Likee content creators including Renad.

The organisations demanded that the Egyptian authorities stop these trials, release the defendants, and close the cases.

"The undersigned organisations affirm that these trials reflect the Egyptian authorities' hostile attitude towards citizens' free use of the internet," said the statement.

"These trials also show how authorities are seeking to monitor social media accounts through the police and the public prosecution on the pretext of protecting family values."

News of Renad's sentence comes shortly after the son of a business tycoon who killed Mai Iskander whilst driving his car under the influence of drugs was acquitted.

Haitham Kamel Abou Ali was driving the wrong way up the road in Hurghada when he hit the car Mai was travelling in.

The case echoes the Fairmont Hotel rape trial in which critics questioned to what extent the accused would be punished considering they are sons of top businessmen and senior officials in Egypt.

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