Egypt cuts TikTok influencer sentence to three years

An Egyptian courtroom has lowered TikTok influencer Haneen Hossam’s 10-year “human trafficking” sentence to a few years, a judicial supply advised AFP on Monday.

While the jail time was lowered, Hossam was additionally fined 200,000 Egyptian kilos ($10,800/R158,898) by the Cairo Criminal Court, stated the supply.

The focusing on of feminine influencers has rekindled a heated debate within the deeply conservative Muslim nation over what constitutes particular person freedoms and social values.

Hossam was first arrested in 2020 and, together with one other influencer Mowada al-Adham, was sentenced to 2 years for “attacking society’s values” of their movies. An appeals courtroom acquitted the pair in January final yr however they have been later charged with “human trafficking” for ostensibly profiting off women’ “immodest” social media exercise.

Hossam was charged over one video telling her 1.3 million followers on the video-sharing app that women can become profitable by working together with her on social media. Then aged 19, she was sentenced in absentia and arrested final June.

Adham acquired a six-year sentence and a 200,000-pound advantageous. She remains to be behind bars in Egypt.

Hossam’s lawyer Hussein al-Baqar confirmed to AFP that the sentence had been lowered.

As she has already served 21 months together with time below investigation, “she can be released in June or July,” Baqar stated, including the newest sentence may nonetheless be appealed.

Her case returned to courtroom below a routine course of as a result of she was now not in absentia.

Targeting ladies in media is just not uncommon in Egypt, the place a number of stomach dancers and pop singers have been focused lately over on-line content material deemed too racy or suggestive.

Egypt has over the previous few years enforced strict web controls via legal guidelines permitting authorities to dam web sites seen as a risk to nationwide safety and to observe private social media accounts with greater than 5,000 followers.

Monday’s ruling “means that the justice system is criminalising what influencers globally do every day when they invite others to work with them and monetise TikTok activity,” Mai el-Sadany, Managing Director of the Washington, DC-based Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy, tweeted.

“There are real and serious cases of human trafficking that must be prosecuted — these TikTok cases are not it.”

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