According to a legal source, an Egyptian court has commuted TikTok influencer Haneen Hossam’s ten-year sentence for “people trafficking” to three years.
According to the AFP news agency, even though Hossam’s prison sentence was reduced, she was also fined 200,000 Egyptian pounds ($10,740) by the Cairo Criminal Court.
The targeting of female influencers has reignited Egypt’s raging debate over what constitutes individual liberties and social norms.
Hossam was arrested for the first time in 2020 and was sentenced to two years in prison alongside another influencer named Mawada al-Adham for “attacking society’s values” in online videos. She was arrested after posting an Instagram video demonstrating how women can earn up to $3,000 by broadcasting films using the video creation platform Likee, which police interpreted as advocating women selling sex online.
In January last year, an appeals court acquitted the couple. Still, they were then charged with “human trafficking” – a charge allegedly brought against Hossam for informing her 1.3 million Instagram followers that females can earn money by working with her on social media.
She was sentenced in absentia and arrested last June when she was 19 years old.
Adham was sentenced to six years in prison and a 200,000-pound fine. She remains imprisoned.
Hussein al-Baqar, Hossam’s lawyer, confirmed the sentence reduction to AFP. Because she has already served 21 months of her sentence, including time spent under investigation, “she could be released in June or July,” Baqar said, adding that the current ruling could still be appealed.