The Kuwaiti Public Prosecution today sentenced two popular TikTok influencers to lengthy prison sentences on charges of violating public morals in their social media videos.
According to Kuwait’s Al-Rai newspaper, the girls, whose identity has not been published, will be punished with two years imprisonment, in addition to a fine between $6,500 and $16,200.
The paper said the Public Prosecution’s Office had issued a statement that claimed, “Whoever establishes a website, publishes, sends or stores information or data with the intention of exploitation, distribution or presentation to others through any technology is a violation of public morals.”
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.
In Egypt, 12 women with high social media profiles have been arrested and imprisoned for “violating family values” and an array of other spurious charges.
Human rights campaigners have said that the charges against these women are degrading and bogus and have called on the government to release the “TikTok women”, as they have become known.
The crackdown has been seen as part of a wider pattern of curbing free speech, including on social media, which has been harder to control than traditional media.