Connect with us


Egypt TikTok and Instagram stars pay heavy price for ‘indecency’



Image copyright

Image caption

Mawada al-Adham was one of five social media stars jailed and fined

“We were left in utter shock. She did nothing wrong – my sister is not a criminal,” says Rahma al-Adham, talking of her younger sibling, a social media influencer in Egypt.

Mawada, a 22-year-old university student, was last month sentenced to two years in prison after being convicted of violating Egyptian family values.

She was arrested in May after publishing videos on TikTok and Instagram where she lip-synced to famous songs and danced in fashionable clothes. The prosecutor found her videos indecent.

Mawada has more than three million followers on TikTok, and 1.6 million on Instagram.

“She only wanted to be famous and popular,” laments Rahma.

‘The TikTok girls’

Mawada is one of five young women who were given the same prison sentence, in addition to a fine of nearly $20,000 (£15,300; 17,000 euros).

The five are known as the “TikTok girls”. Aside from Mawada, the group includes another social media star, Haneen Hossam, and three others who have not been named.

Rahma says her sister was modelling on social media for a number of well-known fashion brands. “She was just too ambitious. She dreamt of being an actress.

“Why her? Some actresses dress in a very explicit way. Nobody touches them,” she asks angrily.

According to human rights group Amnesty International, prosecutors used 17 photos of Mawada against her as evidence of “indecency”. Mawada said these images had been leaked from her phone after it was stolen last year.

Mawada and the other four women began an appeal against their convictions on Monday, and the next hearing is scheduled for 14 September. At the very least, Rahma hopes her sister’s sentence will be reduced.

Mawada fainted when she heard the initial verdict, according to her lawyer, Ahmed Bahkiry. “She’s totally devastated – the charges are very vaguely worded.”

“Prison cannot be a solution, even if some of her videos go against our social norms and traditions,” he adds. “Prisons create criminals. The authorities could have resorted to rehabilitation instead.”

Image copyright

Image caption

Human rights campaigners say young people are being scared away from particular online activities

There are mixed feelings in Egypt towards the case. Some in this largely Muslim, conservative country view TikTok videos such as Mawada’s as indecent.

Others say the girls were only having fun and do not deserve prison.

Human rights groups see the girls’ arrests as a further attempt by the authorities to restrict freedom of expression and as a sign of what Amnesty called “new repressive tactics to control cyberspace”.

There are, campaigners say, tens of thousands of political prisoners in Egypt, including liberals, Islamists, journalists and human rights lawyers.

Egypt’s President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi insists there are no prisoners of conscience in his country, while the state has questioned the credibility of critical human rights reports.

‘Reckless and licentious’

Among those calling for the girls’ release is the Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms, a Cairo-based human rights organisation.

Its executive director, Mohamed Lotfy, says the case shows clear signs of gender discrimination.

“Women are only allowed to express themselves on social media according to the state’s dictations,” he says. “The girls are accused of breaching Egyptian family values, but no-one has ever defined these values.”

Even if they were to be released, Mr Lotfy says a warning has already been sent to young girls.

“The authorities have made it clear: you are not free to say or do whatever you like, even if you are not talking politics at all. There are lines which are not to be crossed.”

In recent months, the public prosecutor’s office issued statements highlighting what it called the “potential dangers threatening our youth via digital platforms, which are not subject to any sort of supervision”.

It called on parents to help stop young people being “misled into adopting a reckless and licentious lifestyle, in search of worthless fame and success”.

“They pursued illegal paths to make money, falsely believing this is a form of freedom of speech,” it said.

Meanwhile, as a result of what has happened, Rahma says their mother “barely leaves her bed now”.

“She cries all the time,” she says. “Sometimes she wakes up at night and asks if Mawada is back home.”

You may also be interested in:

Media playback is unsupported on your device

Media captionWill TikTok be banned?

Source –

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


Charles Mbire gains $1.2 million as stake in MTN Uganda rises above $51 million



Ugandan businessman and MTN Uganda Chairman Charles Mbire has seen the market value of his stake in MTN Uganda surge above $51 million in just two days, as the share price in the leading teleco company increased by a single digit.

The single-digit bump in the share price caused the market value of Mbire’s stake to gain UGX4.42 billion ($1.24 million) in less than two days.

The million-dollar increase in the value of his stake came after Uganda’s largest telecom company delivered the country’s largest-ever IPO through the listing of 22.4 billion ordinary shares on the Uganda Securities Exchange (USE).

Upon completing the largest IPO in Uganda’s history, MTN Uganda raised a record UGX535 billion ($150.4 million) from the applications that it received for a total of 2.9 billion shares, including incentive shares.

As of press time, Dec. 7, shares in the company were trading at UGX204.95 ($0.0574), down six basis points from their opening price this morning.

Data gathered by Billionaires.Africa revealed that since the telecom company registered its shares on the Ugandan bourse on Mon., Dec. 6, its share price has increased by 2.5 percent from UGX200 ($0.056) to UGX204.95 ($0.0574) as of the time of writing, as retail investors sustained buying interest long after the public offering.

The increase in the company’s share price caused the market value of Mbire’s 3.98-percent stake to rise from UGX178.45 billion ($49.96 million) to UGX182.86 billion ($51.2 million).

In less than two days, his stake gained more than UGX4.42 billion ($1.24 million).

In a statement after the successful listing of MTN Uganda’s shares, Mbire said the IPO shows the confidence that Ugandans and other investors have in the company, its brand and strategic intent.

“We commend all the regulators for their support in our work to become a USE-listed company and to comply in a timely manner with the listing provisions of the national telecommunications operators’ license,” he said.

Steady but sure-MBIRE who is the biggest investor on Ugandas Stock exchange with stocks valued at more than $55 million is laughing all the way to the bank after MTN declared the latest dividend payout.He has steadily grown his business empire which is believed to be more that $350 million (debt free).

Steady but sure-MBIRE who is the biggest investor on Ugandas Stock exchange with stocks valued at more than $55 million is laughing all the way to the bank after MTN declared the latest dividend payout.He has steadily grown his business empire which is believed to be more that $350. ( debt free).

He is into communications-revenue assurance-cement-distribution-oil services-real estate-oil exploration and logistics.

Source: Billionaires Africa

Continue Reading


2-year-old dies at Arua hospital as nurse demands Shs 210,000 bribe




A two-year-old child died at Arua Regional Referral hospital after a nurse, Paul Wamala demanded a bribe amounting to Shs 210,000 before carrying out an operation. 

The incident happened on Saturday, after Aron Nabil, a two-year-old child was referred to the hospital for an operation after he was diagnosed with intestinal obstruction, a medical emergency caused by a blockage that keeps food or liquid from passing through the small intestine or large intestine.

According to the relatives of the child, Wamala allegedly asked them to initially give him Shs 30,000 to buy medicines to commence the procedure. He however returned shortly asking for an additional Shs 180,000 from the relatives.

Emily Adiru, a resident of Osu cell, in Bazar Ward, Central Division, and a relative of the child says although they paid money to Wamala, he abandoned the child without carrying out the operation. According to Adiru, Wamala later refunded Shs 200,000 through mobile money, after she threatened to report him to the police.

“They told us this boy needs an operation which was supposed to be done in the morning on Sunday at around 7 am. They took him inside there, some doctor came from the theatre, he called one of us and said, we should pay Shs 70,000 for buying medicine to start the operation. We paid the Shs 30,000 [but] after paying the Shs 30,000, after some minutes, the same man came and opened the door and called us again, and told us we should pay another Shs 100,000. We also paid the Shs 100,000 and we thought it is finished. We were outside there waiting for our patient to come out [but] then this man came back again and said we should pay another Shs 80,000,” said Adiru.

Although the operation was later carried out after a 7-hour delay, the child didn’t make it, and relatives attribute the death to negligence. Miria Ahmed, a concerned resident wonders why such incidents have persisted at the facility which is supposed to service the citizens.

“Is the problem the hospital, is it the management or it is the human resource that is the problem in the hospital? A small child like this you demand Shs 210,000 for the operation? Well, if the money was taken and the operation is done, I would say anything bad but this money was taken and the small boy was abandoned in the theatre,” she said. 

When contacted Wamala refused to comment on the allegations. Dr Gilbert Aniku, the acting hospital director says that the hospital will issue an official statement later since consultations about the matter are ongoing.

Arua City resident district commissioner, Alice Akello has condemned the actions of the nurse saying she has ordered his arrest so as to set an example to the rest. The case has been reported to Arua regional referral hospital police post under SD reference No:05/30/05/2022.

Source –

Continue Reading


Mexican president’s Mayan Train dealt new legal setback | Tourism News




Activists say the planned tourist train will harm the wildlife and natural features of the Yucatan Peninsula.

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has been dealt the latest setback to an ambitious plan to create a tourist train to connect the country’s southern Yucatan Peninsula.

On Monday, a judge indefinitely suspended construction on a portion of the project, known as the Mayan Train, saying the plans currently do not comply “with the proceedings of the environmental impact evaluation”.

The ruling follows a legal challenge by activists who said they were concerned the 60km (37 mile) portion of the train that would connect the resorts of Playa del Carmen and Tulum would adversely affect the area’s wildlife, as well as its caves and water-filled sinkholes known as cenotes.

The original plan for the disputed section was for an overpass over a highway, but the route was modified early this year to go through jungle at ground level.

The federal judge cited the “imminent danger” of causing “irreversible damage” to ecosystems, according to one of the plaintiffs, the non-governmental group Defending the Right to a Healthy Environment. In a statement, the group said that authorities had failed to carry out the necessary environmental impact studies before starting construction of the section.

Lopez Obrador had announced the ambitious project in 2018, with construction beginning in 2020. The roughly 1,500km (930 mile) cargo and passenger rail loop was presented as a cornerstone of a wider plan to develop the poorer states and remote towns throughout the about 181,000sq km (70,000sq mile) Yucatan Peninsula.

The railway is set to connect Caribbean beach resorts with Mayan archaeological ruins, with authorities aiming to complete the project by the end of 2023. The plan is estimated to cost about $16bn.

The project has split communities across the region, with some welcoming the economic development and connectivity it would bring. Others, including some local Indigenous communities, have challenged the project, saying it could not only disrupt the migratory routes of endangered species, including jaguars, tapirs and ocelots, but could also potentially damage centuries-old Mayan archaeological sites.

The National Fund for the Promotion of Tourism, the government agency overseeing the project, has said that it expects to “overcome” the latest challenge and that work should continue after an environmental impact statement is finalised. It said the Environment Ministry was currently reviewing its environmental application for the project.

For his part, Lopez Obrador has insisted the railway will not have a significant environmental effect and has accused activists of being infiltrated by “impostors”.

Source –

Continue Reading