17/05/2022

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Egypt: TikTok influencer faces three-year jail sentence

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An Egyptian court has reduced to three years, the prison sentence of TikTok influencer, Haneen Hossam for “human trafficking”, a judicial source told AFP on Monday (April, 18 ).

The 20-year-old student was slapped with a ten-year prison sentence in absentia in June last year.

Her case returned to court under a routine process because she was no longer in absentia.

Her sentence, against which she can still appeal, has therefore been “reduced”, her lawyer Hussein al-Baqar told AFP, saying that with 21 months already spent behind bars, his client could “consider her new sentence as an acquittal”.

With the system of remissions, he explained, “she could get out this summer”.

Before that, she will have to pay a fine of almost 10,000 euros.

Ms Hossam was once suspected of pimping for a video sent to her more than 1.3 million subscribers in early 2020.

In it, she said she wanted to help young girls who could not find work to earn some money by posting online videos with her.

“The justice system is criminalizing what all influencers do every day: invite others to work with them to monetize their business on TikTok,” said lawyer Mai el-Sadany on Twitter.

In June 2020, another female influencer, Mawada al-Adham, was sentenced to six years in prison for “human trafficking” and “inciting debauchery”.

In all, over the past two years, a dozen female influencers have been arrested for indecency in the conservative country.