12:42 GMT13 July 2020
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    A number of female influencers have recently been targeted by Cairo for promoting “prostitution” on social media. They now face a real prison term for their allegedly indecent behaviour.

    A prominent Egyptian actress and belly dancer, Sama el-Masry, was sentenced to three years in prison on Saturday for inciting “debauchery” and “immorality” on social media over videos and photos posted on her social media accounts, Egypt Today reported. According to the public prosecutor, el-Masry was posting “sexually aggressive” content which violated the family values and principles of Egyptian society. The 42-year-old dancer was also fined 300,000 EGP ($18,500).

    El-Masry was arrested in April amid a probe into videos and photos shared on social media platforms, such as TikTok. According to the country’s prosecutor-general’s office, cited by Egypt Today, it had received a number of complaints from the public over the woman’s posts.
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    Публикация от سما المصري (@samaelmasrii)

    However, the dancer denied she was guilty, arguing that the content was taken and shared from a phone that was stolen last summer. El-Masry claimed that it was the Muslim Brotherhood that reported her to authorities due to her political views, as she previously publicly mocked the group during the presidency of Mohamed Morsi back in 2012.

    Egyptian MP John Talaat, who called for legal action against the dancer, maintained that there was “a huge difference between freedom and debauchery”, as quoted by Reuters. He also insisted that other TikTok and Instagram influencers, who have recently been accused of promoting “prostitution” and “debauchery” on social media and arrested in Egypt, would soon face similar sentences.

    In 2018, Egyptian president Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi ratified a number of laws related to the government’s oversight of social media.

    Tags:
    TikTok, belly dancing, Muslim Brotherhood, Muslims, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, Egypt
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