Police have arrested 19-year-old Bishaaro Balaayo, a popular TikTok influencer, for posting “immoral content” showing her being inappropriately touched by a Somali teenage boy in public areas around the capital city.
The short video clips, which have since been removed from TikTok, showed Balaayo being caressed on her hips, thighs, and buttocks by the unidentified boy as they walked around Mogadishu together.
In another clip, the pair kissed passionately outside a cafe as a crowd watched on.
The videos created outrage in the conservative Muslim country, sparking calls for the teenager’s arrest for such depraved public behavior.
Under Somalia’s strict Islamic laws, both Balaayo and the boy could now face heavy fines, jail time, or public lashings.
Police chief Abdullah Hiirey condemned Balaayo, saying “These TikTok influencers are poisoning the minds of our young generations.”
Women’s rights advocates, however, have spoken out against the arrests, saying the reaction has been disproportionate.
Balaayo faces up to 5 years in prison if found guilty of morality charges. As investigations continue, her family remains unable to contact her.