Court upholds order to freeze funds of Egyptian TikTokers jailed for 'violating family values'

El-Sayed Gamal El-Din , Tuesday 18 Aug 2020

TikTok influencers
TikTok influencers Haneen Hossam (L) and Mawada El Adham (R)

An Egyptian Cairo Criminal Court upheld on Tuesday an order by the prosecutor-general to freeze the funds of two female TikTok influencers jailed for “inciting debauchery and violating family values and principles.”

TikTok influencers Haneen Hossam and Mawada El-Adham, who are well-known for their content on the video-sharing platform, were sentenced last month to two years in prison, along with three others, and were also fined EGP 300,000.

An appeal hearing for the defendants was adjourned to 14 September.

Hossam, El-Adham and other defendants were referred to criminal court in June for what the prosecution described as “violating family values and principles and establishing and running online accounts to commit this crime.”

One of the three other defendants in the case was charged with possessing unauthorised and illegal software for the purpose of using it to facilitate committing these crimes. The three defendants were charged with helping one of the girls evade arrest, concealing evidence of the crime, and publishing materials to influence public opinion about the case.

El-Adham was arrested on 14 May after she fled her residence at an upscale New Cairo gated community, moving around between Cairo and the North Coast after an arrest warrant was issued against her.

El-Adham, who has 3.1 million followers on TikTok and 1.6 million followers on Instagram, gained fame for posting lip syncing and dance videos.

Hossam, who has 1.2 million followers on TikTok, was arrested on 21 April for inciting debauchery and human trafficking. She was arrested a few days after she posted a video on TikTok encouraging women to publish live videos and talk with strangers, via short video sharing platform Likee, in exchange for money.

A court ordered her release on EGP 10,000 bail after she spent about a month-and-a-half in custody; however, the 20-year-old influencer was remanded once again after the prosecution presented new evidence.

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