Tue 19 April 2022:
According to a judicial source, an Egyptian court has lowered TikTok influencer Haneen Hossam’s 10-year “human trafficking” sentence to three years.
According to an AFP source, despite the fact that Hossam’s sentence was reduced, the Cairo Criminal Court penalized her 200,000 Egyptian pounds ($10,740).
The targeting of female influencers has reignited a raging discussion in Egypt over what defines individual liberties and social values.
Hossam was first arrested in 2020 and, along with another influencer named Mawada al-Adham, was sentenced to two years for “attacking society’s values” in online videos. She was detained after posting a video on Instagram explaining how women could earn up to $3,000 by broadcasting videos using the video creation platform Likee, which authorities interpreted as promoting women selling sex online.
An appeals court acquitted the pair in January last year, but they were later charged with “human trafficking” – a charge Hossam reportedly incurred for telling her 1.3 million followers that girls can make money by working with her on social media.
Then aged 19, she was sentenced in absentia and arrested last June.
Hussein al-Baqar, Hossam’s lawyer, confirmed to AFP that the sentence had been lowered. Because she has already served 21 months, including time spent under investigation, “she could be released in June or July,” according to Baqar, who added that the current sentence could still be appealed.
Her case was remanded to court as part of a normal procedure because she was no longer in absentia.
Egypt has imposed severe internet censorship in recent years through legislation that allow authorities to prohibit websites deemed a danger to national security and to monitor personal social media accounts with more than 5,000 followers.
SOURCE: INDEPENDENT PRESS AND NEWS AGENCIES
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