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Egyptian woman sentenced to 3 years in TikTok ‘human trafficking’ case

CAIRO – An Egyptian court has sentenced a woman to three years in prison after a retrial on human trafficking charges in a case involving girls dancing in videos on TikTok.

Haneen Hossam, a social media influencer, was arrested in 2020. Her case is seen by critics as part of a campaign to crack down on self-expression by conservative government officials. in Egypt.

Prosecutors have charged her with promoting human trafficking by allegedly exploiting underage girls for material gain with dance videos. It is not clear how the videos are related to human trafficking.

Hossam, in his 20s, was sentenced to 10 years in prison but a Cairo Criminal Court judge on Monday reduced the sentence to three years. She was also fined 200,000 Egyptian pounds (US$10,800).

Monday’s ruling is final and cannot be appealed.

The allegations stemmed in part from Hossam inviting the girls to join another social networking platform, Likee, which claimed they could make more money from his videos.

Hossam and other women, including TikTok influencer Mawada Eladhm, were first sentenced in July 2020 to two years in prison for “violating family values ​​and principles” Egypt”, inciting debauchery and promoting human trafficking.

An appeals court overturned the convictions and both women were released.

But prosecutors appealed the decision and charged them with human trafficking. The Cairo Criminal Court subsequently sentenced Hossam in June to 10 years in prison while Eladhm received a 6-year sentence.

Hossam appealed that ruling and she was retried by another judge, who reduced her sentence to three years on Monday.

Hossam and Eladhm have shot up to TikTok’s popularity in recent years, garnering millions of followers thanks to their videos set to catchy Egyptian club-pop tracks.

In their respective 15-second clips, the women put on makeup, pose in cars, dance in the kitchen and joke around in skits – content that is familiar and seems masterful for the platform. this.

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