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 cafe in the Dokki neighborhood 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.
Another 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.
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 organizations including the Committee for Justice signed a statement condemning the continued prosecution and trial of TikTok and Likee content creators including Renad.
The organizations demanded that the Egyptian authorities stop these trials, release the defendants, and close the cases.
“The undersigned organizations 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.
Egypt arrests diplomat critical of Sisi
Egyptian authorities have jailed a former ambassador in connection to his criticism of the government’s handling of the Great Ethiopia Renaissance Dam crisis.
According to the family of Yehya Negm, who served as Cairo’s ambassador to Venezuela, he was arrested following a raid by security forces at his home and subsequently “disappearing” for three days.
The state security prosecution charged Negm with “joining a terrorist group, spreading false news, and misusing social media”, where he was sentenced to 15 days in custody, pending investigation.
His family also says that after the investigation, he was transferred to an unknown location “in flagrant violation of Egyptian law”.
Negm is said to have stated last month that Egyptian officials are in a “state of delirium, internal delirium, and schizophrenia, and make us an object of ridicule to the world”.
“This nonsense uttered by regime officials confirm that there are no institutions or a collective mind that runs the state and that whoever manages matters is one party, or one person, deceiving and drugging… the Egyptian people until the completion of the construction of the dam,” the former diplomat added.
Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said last week that his country intends to build more than 100 dams as a means of resisting forces opposed to Ethiopia. However, this has become a security issue for Egypt which is almost entirely dependent on the Nile water. There are also plans for Ethiopia to build military bases in the Red Sea.
Egypt and Sudan concluded a joint-military drill earlier that week amid the rising tensions with Ethiopia.