Region: MENA

Number of Trials: 2

Haneen Hossam

Mawada ad-Adham

The cases of Haneen Hossam and Mawada ad-Adham were pursued in the context of a sweeping government crackdown on dissent, targeting journalists, bloggers and civil society actors, and in recent years, women social media influencers. There is an increasing trend towards prosecuting women for “morality offences” in connection with behaviour deemed antithetical to Egyptian societal values and “public decency” based on vague and archaic provisions in Egypt’s Penal Code and 2018 Anti-Cybercrime Law. The Egyptian authorities have made no secret of their campaign to police women’s online conduct, with the General Prosecutor maintaining that his office is mandated not only to prosecute criminals, but also to act as a “guardian of social norms.”

Haneen Hossam and Mawada ad-Adham

In Egypt, TrialWatch has monitored the trial of social media personalities Haneen Hossam and Mawada al-Adham, who were convicted in July 2020 of “undermining family principles and values in Egyptian society” for videos on Tik Tok showing them singing and dancing. While Haneen Hossam was acquitted and Mawada al-Adham had her sentence reduced to a fine on appeal, they were then reprosecuted, convicted, and given hefty prison sentences based on allegations that they had exploited children on social media. A report on their ‘family values’ case is forthcoming.

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