18/03/2022: Mawada’s appeal against her six-year prison sentence is pending. Haneen, who was sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment in her absence, is now standing trial again. Amnesty is concerned about Haneen’s mental health. During her court hearings in December she repeatedly expressed her despair, “I live in a swamp, in a swamp I swear, and I am dying 100 times every day because my future is lost”. Both women are still being held at al-Qanater prison. They are being punished solely for peacefully exercising their human rights and must be immediately released.

Haneen Hossam and Mawada el-Adham are social media influencers in their early twenties. Both have been sentenced to years in prison for 'encouraging' young women to share supposedly ‘indecent' content on social media.

Amnesty International believes that they are being punished for the way they dance, talk and dress, amid a crackdown on women’s freedom of expression, and attempts to police women’s conduct online.

No government - whether it’s Switzerland banning the burqa, or Egypt imprisoning Haneen and Mawada - should tell women how they should dress and act.

They are both being held in al-Qanater Prison for women.

Since April 2020,  the Egyptian authorities have intensified their crackdown on social media influencers. The authorities have arrested and prosecuted ten women  TikTok influencers for violating the draconian cyber-crimes law, and other overly vague laws related to “decency” and “inciting immorality”. 

These arrests follow investigations by the Morality Directorate, whose role is to prosecute those who act in a  way that contravenes customs and traditions or spreads ideas and acts of immorality and debauchery in society.

What’s really immoral is imprisoning young women for posting videos on social media.

When thousands of people like you take action, it sends a message to Egyptian authorities that the world is watching, and will put pressure on them to release Haneen and Mawada. 

Thousands of people around Australia took action for Egyptian journalist Solafa Magdy, which led to her release in April 2021. If enough people act, we can help to free these young women. 

Take action and tell authorities to release Haneen and Mawada - and to stop the crackdown on women’s rights to freedom of expression.