Egyptian TikTok Star Jailed for Three Years for ‘Human Trafficking’

An Egyptian court on April 18 sentenced TikTok star Haneen Hossam to three years in prison after a retrial convicted her of “human trafficking.”

The Cairo Criminal Court also fined her 200,000 Egyptian pounds ($10,820) after she was found guilty of exploiting girls for money through video-sharing platforms.

Hossam denied the charge and human rights activists said that it was part of a crackdown on female social media influencers.

“The justice system is criminalizing what influencers do every day when they invite others to work with them and monetize TikTok activity,” Mai El-Sadany, a United States-based human rights lawyer and director of the Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy, said on Twitter in response to the verdict.

The verdict stemmed from a trial that began in August 2020 when authorities charged Hossam and other female TikTok influencers of “indecency” and “violating family values and principles.”

Hossam faced the additional charge of human trafficking in relation to an Instagram video where she encouraged women over 18 years of age to post videos of themselves on another video-sharing platform, Likee, to earn money.

Amnesty International said at the time that the video showed “no credible evidence linking [Hossam] to any internationally-recognizable crime.”

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