EGYPT : A CRACKDOWN ON WOMEN ON TIKTOK
About this toolkit
In the last few months, the Egyptian government launched a security campaign targeting women on Tiktok and multiple social media platforms. It started by arresting Haneen Hossam who was accused of threatening the values of " the Egyptian family " and inciting debauchery.
On May 26, 2020, the Public Prosecutor accused Aya, also known as Mona Abdel Aziz, of inciting immorality and debauchery, after posting a video in which she sought help and demanded justice after she was raped, filmed, and blackmailed by a group of friends with the rape video. A series of arrests for the same reasons targeted Mawadda Al-Adham on May 14, and Sherifa Refaat, also known as Sheri Hanim and Nora Hisham, known as Zomoroda, on June 10. The crackdown on tik-tok women continued when Manar Sami and Hadeer Hadi were arrested on July 1 and July 6. The last arrest targeted Basant Muhammed on July 10th for the same charges.
Goals of this toolkit
Raising public awareness of the issue of Tik Tok girls, in light of the restriction of freedom of opinion and expression in Egypt.
Encouraging individuals to take urgent action through blogging or by sending a letter or e-mail to the Egyptian embassy in their country, or to the Attorney General if they are in Egypt
Encouraging women and people from different parts of the world to join the online campaign #Free_Tiktok_Girls to deliver to the Egyptian government a message that women should not be punished for dancing or expressing themselves.
This toolkit contains
An introduction to the women who got arrested during this campaign,
Social media posts, and emails to help us spread our message, as well as instructions on how to take urgent action.
For more information on the legal background of the arrests and Egypt’s record on repressing women and human rights, please follow this link
Introduction to the tik tok girls
Mena has appeared in a video in which she claimed that she was subjected to a rape, and was blackmailed by publishing the video, and despite the fact that the incident was proven, the Public Prosecution ordered the victim to be imprisoned.
On May 30, the Public Prosecution issued a statement in which it reviewed the facts of the case, blaming the victim for publishing videos that the prosecution deemed contained incitement to debauchery. Although the prosecution decided on June 9 to replace the victim’s pretrial detention with a placement in a care home, the prosecution has not dropped the charges against her and she is still under investigation despite the brutality of what she was subjected to.
Last April, the Public Prosecution ordered the arrest and summoning of the student Hanin Hossam Abdel Qader and her imprisonment for 4 days pending investigation, noting in their statement “the defendant's assault on family principles and values in Egyptian society,” which is the same accusation directed against the student “Mawaddah Al-Adham” and three others in Last March, in connection with case 1047 of 2020, known in the media as the "Tik Tok Girls" case. The same accusation was used for "Sherifa Rifaat" and her daughter, "Nora", on June 10.
Mawada Al Adham
Mawaddah Al-Adham and three other girls were arrested last March, in connection with case 1047 of 2020, known in the media as the "Tik Tok Girls" case.
The court said that Mawaddah "attacked family values" by posting videos on social media sites aiming at "seducing young people" to gain more viewers and followers to collect more money from ads. The court also said that Al-Adham appeared in the videos "in indecent clothes and dancing in a pornographic manner in public places." According to press statements made by Mawada's lawyer, the prosecutor asked her to undergo a "virginity test," which she refused. The authorities may have subjected at least two other women to a virginity test.
Sherifa Refaat and Nora Hisham
In early June, authorities arrested Sherifa Rifaat, 46, and her daughter, Nora Hisham, 24, who are a popular mother-daughter duo on TikTok and Instagram who have more than 100,000 followers, accusing them of being “enemies of family principles and values in Egyptian society. ".
Public Prosecutor Hamada al-Sawy said on June 12 that the “Monitoring and Analysis” unit in the “Al-Bayan Administration of the Attorney General's Office” had “received several requests for their arrest,” and that the prosecution “monitored the anger of social media users” on the videos the two women posted.
On July 1, authorities arrested Manar Sami, 30, a popular content creator on TikTok and Instagram with more than 250,000 followers, following a complaint by lawyer Ashraf Farhat's "Hisbah" which stated that she was "publishing pornographic content on websites." The Public Prosecution office ordered Manar to be imprisoned for using her social media accounts in a manner that "violates family principles and values in Egyptian society." The judge sent her to pretrial detention.
Mennat Allah Emad
On July 1, police in the Dokki neighborhood of Cairo arrested “Renad” (her real name is Mennat Allah) Imad, 20, in a café. The Public Prosecution Office ordered her detention pending investigation on charges of posting "inappropriate" content on Tik Tok. Menat Allah is an Instagram and Tik Tok influencer, with over 2.3 million followers on the two platforms. It appears that both accounts have been deleted.
On July 6, Giza Morality Police arrested Hadeer Al-Hadi, 23, who has more than a million followers on Tik Tok and Instagram, for posting "shameless" videos on the Internet. Her laptop and phone were confiscated, and on August 4 they renewed her pretrial detention until August 18. Media reports indicate that authorities may have subjected her to a virginity test.
Morality Police arrested Basant Mohamed, a 20-year-old student, from Alexandria on July 10 over the content of her Tik Tok video. Basant, who has nearly a million and a half followers on TikTok and Instagram, was released pending investigation on 11 July.
On June 29, the Cairo Economic Court sentenced Sama el-Masry, 42, a well-known TV personality, actress, singer, and dancer, to 3 years in prison and a fine of 300,000 EGP for “public indecency.” A public prosecutor’s statement on April 27 said authorities had ordered el-Masry detained for publishing “sexually suggestive” videos on YouTube and other social media platforms. She is appealing the verdict. The prosecution also referred el-Masry for a separate trial for “inciting debauchery,” which began on July 6.
Act now! - Message for women's freedom -
Since the arrest of the Tik Tok girls, the movement has been sending one resounding message: Free Tik Tok girls in Egypt.
Send your letter or email to the Egyptian embassy in your country or to the Attorney General if you are in Egypt and join the #Free_TikTok_Girls campaign by following these three simple steps:
locate the contact information for the Egyptian Embassy in your country or use one of the contacts listed on the next page.
Send your message/ E-mail - use the letter form on the next page or write your own.
Spread the news - Share on your social media + forward this message to five of your friends and ask them to join you in the action.
Don’t forget to use the hashtag #Free_Tiktok_Girls
Contact information for some embassies
Egypt: email@example.com / Attorney General Hamada El-Sawy, Office of the Public Prosecutor, Al-Rehab City
Cité Montplaisir, Rue Elferdaouss Avenue Mohamed V, P.O. Box 191, 1002 Tunis
Ireland:12 Clyde Rd, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4, D04 P302, Ireland
France: 56 Avenue d'Iéna, 75116 Paris, firstname.lastname@example.org
UK: 26 South St, Mayfair, London W1K 1DW, United Kingdom,
Hungary: Budapest, Istenhegyi út 7/b, 1125 Hungary
Switzerland: Elfenauweg 61, 3006 Bern, Switzerland
Belgium: Avenue de l'Uruguay 19, 1000 Bruxelles, Belgium
Italy: Via Salaria, 267, 00199 Roma RM, Italy
Malta: Sir Temi Zammit Ave, Ta' Xbiex, Malta
Feel free to customize this message before sending
I am writing to express my deep concern regarding the issue of Tik Tok girls, who are a group of girls who have filmed videos on the social media platform and are being imprisoned and prosecuted for this reason.
We will not accept such dehumanization and oppression of women in Egypt;
We will not accept the violence Egyptian women face under such a patriarchal system;
We demand immediate release of all women that have been arrested under this unfair law that is directly attacking only women of middle and poor class in Egypt.
Therefore, I ask you to act for the immediate and unconditional release of the Tik Tok girls, as well as all women and members of minority groups imprisoned solely for practising their freedom of speech .
Thank you for your time and interest in this vital matter.
Line 1 - You cannot silence women in Egypt! Tiktok Girls were imprisoned for expressing themselves.
Line 2 - [ADD personalized reason why you’re supporting]
Line 3 - Join me in taking action to #Free_Tiktok_Girls from Egyptian prisons!
Final caption example:
You cannot silence women in Egypt! Tiktok Girls were imprisoned for expressing themselves. I’m taking action because I support women’s freedom of speech. Join me in taking action to #Free_Tiktok_Girls from Egyptian prisons! tinyurl.com/yxm6hy3v
Sample Tweets (feel free to use the visuals from here!)
Tiktok Girls have been arrested in Egypt only for expressing themselves. Join the fight against the oppression of women in Egypt, take action now! tinyurl.com/yxm6hy3v #Free_Tiktok_Girls
In Egypt, Tiktok Girls are imprisoned for using their voice. Take 5 minutes to act for their release and support freedom of speech: tinyurl.com/yxm6hy3v #Free_Tiktok_Girls
Egyptian Tiktok Girls have been imprisoned only for the “crime” of expressing themselves on social media. Follow this link to write to the Egyptian Embassy. 5 min that will make a difference! tinyurl.com/yxm6hy3v #Free_Tiktok_Girls
Sample FB Post (feel free to use the visuals from here!)
In Egypt, 9 women have been imprisoned by the government because of their posts on social media platform Tik tok. Egyptian authorities are accusing them of “debauchery” when they were just expressing themselves freely. The Egyptian government is known to oppress women and minorities, and does not tolerate freedom of speech.
I’m taking action with the #Free_Tiktok_Girls campaign because [Add personal reason for taking action] Join me today by contacting the Egyptian Embassy and tell them to #Free_Tiktok_Girls. tinyurl.com/yxm6hy3v
Sample Email to your friends (feel free to use the visuals from here!)
Feel free to personalize and send to supporters, friends, and family.
Today I’m joining the #Free_Tiktok_Girls campaign to demand the immediate release of 9 Egyptian girls imprisoned by their government only for expressing themselves on social media.
Indeed, in the past few months, in Egypt, 9 women have been imprisoned by the government because of their posts on the social media platform Tik Tok. Egyptian authorities are accusing them of “debauchery” when they were just expressing themselves freely. The Egyptian government is known to oppress women and minorities, and does not tolerate freedom of speech.
To hear more about their story, please read this document. Once you learn more, you too will feel compelled to take action to free the Tiktok girls. Then, please join me in writing to the Egyptian Embassy tinyurl.com/yxm6hy3v (or if you are in Egypt, you can write to the general prosecutor). Together, in solidarity,
we can act for justice.