Association of Freedom of Thought and Expression

Manar Sami

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Sami, 30, worked previously as a flight attendant. She has been active on TikTok, where she posted dance videos and “karaoke” songs. She has 187,000 followers on TikTok.

On 1 July 2020, a police force arrested Sami, along with a young man called “Zika”, from a café in Kafr Saad, Gharbia Governorate. She was caught under an arrest warrant the Public Prosecution issued after the Monitoring and Analysis Unit at the Public Prosecutor’s Office observed the circulation of her immoral videos. This also came after several lawsuits were filed against her, including lawsuit No. 26712 lodged by lawyer Ashraf Farahat, the founder of what he called the “Purification of Egypt Campaign”.

The Public Prosecution charged her with inciting immorality, debauchery, and instincts, promoting herself on social media, and posting indecent videos with the aim of practicing prostitution. She was remanded in custody for 4 days pending investigation.

On 22 July 2020, the Public Prosecution decided to refer Sami to the Economic Misdemeanor Court in Tanta in connection with Case No. 595 of 2020. On 29 July 2020, the court sentenced her to 3 years in prison and fined her 300,000 Egyptian pounds. The court also ruled that she could pay 20,000 Egyptian pounds to have the sentence suspended until it is appealed. The court further obliged her to pay the criminal charges.

Sami was released from Kafr Shukr Police Station on 9 August 2020, in implementation of the Tanta Appeals Prosecution’s decision to release her.

On 19 September 2020, the Tanta Economic Court of Appeal accepted the form of the appeal, but rejected its content. It also upheld the First Instance Court’s ruling against Sami.

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