Influencer arrested in Saudi Arabia for “sexual expressions” on TikTok

Police in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on Tuesday arrested a famous Egyptian influencer after a live broadcast on the TikTok platform in which she allegedly used “sexual words and expressions”, according to Saudi General Security on its social media. .

“Riyadh police arrested a girl of Egyptian nationality who went live on a social networking site talking to another girl and using some sexual words and expressions,” the institution detailed in a video posted on Twitter.

Saudi General Security highlighted that the young woman was detained because her content “harms the country’s image and general morale”, and added that prosecution procedures have already started with the Attorney General’s Office.

The local press and activists identified that it is the young Egyptian influencer Tala Safwan, who has more than 5 million followers on TikTok. Saudi police have not released her name, but have made blurry images of her available.

In one of his latest videos, Safwan appeared making a video call with another young woman he invited to his house at dawn, something that generated a wave of criticism among users for considering that he was making a sexual proposal.

After this video, which went viral due to the controversy, the young woman defended herself claiming that her words had been misinterpreted.

Several netizens started a campaign against her on social networks with the hashtag “Tala offends society”.

Like many other Arab and Muslim-majority countries, Saudi Arabia criminalizes homosexuality and public comments with sexual references.

In Egypt, dozens of influencers have been arrested and even jailed in recent years for posting videos on TikTok in which they appear dancing, something that the country’s authorities consider “incitement to debauchery” and, in more extreme cases, “prostitution”.

Safwan’s arrest comes after Saudi Arabia’s General Audiovisual Media Commission on Sunday asked Google in a statement to remove YouTube ads that it considers “offensive” and that “conflict with social values ​​and principles of Islam”.

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