The court of appeal acquitted Mawada El Adham and Haneen Hossam of the charges of violating Egyptian family values and promoting sexual deviancy and debauchery. Accordingly, the two Tik Tok influencers were released.
In July 2020, they had been sentenced to two years in prison & LE 300k ($19K) fines for “violating family values.”
Lawyer Hussein Al-Baqqar said the appeals court had acquitted Hossam of all charges and upheld the fines for Adham and the three other defendants.
Before her arrest, Adham had over one million followers on TikTok, which she used to share videos of her taking part in different trends, such as lip-syncing and dancing.
‘Instead of policing women online, the government must prioritise investigating the widespread cases of sexual and gender-based violence against women and girls in Egypt’
– Lynn Maalouf, Amnesty International
Hossam, who also had a following of over one million, used the app to teach users how to make money.
The TikTok influencers were prosecuted under Egypt’s 2018 cybercrime law, legislation which has been widely criticised by human rights campaigners and activists for being vague and for being used to unfairly target people.
Adham was called in to do a virginity test last year but refused to do so.
Following the charges against the young women last year, many took to social media to denounce the crackdown on the women and the ease with which people could be penalised for the content they published online.