Egypt arrests TikTokers for criticising high food prices in satirical videos: report

Egypt arrests TikTokers for criticising high food prices in satirical videos: report
Three Egyptian TikTok users are reportedly in pretrial detention after using comedy videos to speak out against the country's soaring food prices.
2 min read
22 April, 2022
Egypt has been cracking down on influential TikTok users, accusing them of being a bad influence on the public [Getty]

Egyptian authorities have arrested three TikTok users for making satirical videos criticising the country’s rising food prices, Egyptian news outlet Al Manassa reported Thursday.

The content creators were detained in the southern city of Asyut and brought before Cairo’s State Security Prosecution, according to the report.

They reportedly face charges of spreading fake news, and the prosecution has since ordered their pretrial detention.

The TikTok users, who appear to be a group of young to middle-aged men, have garnered millions of likes on videos they have posted to the app. Their most-viewed TikTok has accumulated almost 11 million likes alone.

In one of their most-watched clips, the group parodies the song Hobbak Nar (Your Love is Fire) by legendary singer Abdel Halim Hafez. The group modified the song's lyrics to match their dissatisfaction with the surge in food costs, and named their parody "The Prices".

@aantarrr #الاسعار #متابعه #لايك❤️ #اكسبلور #تابعونا #ظرفاء #الغلابه ♬ الصوت الأصلي - ظرفاء الغلابه

Food and fuel prices in Egypt have increased as a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on 24 February.

Both Russia and Ukraine are major suppliers of wheat, vegetable oil and other staples to the Middle East and North Africa region, but the war has disrupted the flow of exports.

Egypt set a fixed price for bread at the end of March after bread prices rose by as much as one quarter since the invasion.

Egypt has been cracking down on influential TikTok users, particularly women.

TikToker Haneen Hossam was charged with human trafficking after making a video telling women and girls that they can make money by working with her on social media.

Initially given a decade in prison, her sentence was reduced last week to three years.