Egypt, two TikTok influencers convicted of human trafficking and debauchery
Trafficking in human beings and debauchery. With these charges, the Cairo Criminal Court sentenced two influencers to six and ten years in prison, following the transmission of videos published on social networks TikTok and Likee. The Egyptian justice said the lawyers dealing with the case, “sentenced Mawada al-Adham to six years in prison” (subject to appeal) and Haneen Hossam to ten years (definitive sentence) for trafficking in human beings, corruption of life family and instigation to debauchery.
The two young women, already sentenced to two years’ imprisonment last July, were then acquitted on appeal in January 2021. In addition to the prison sentence, both influencers were also sentenced to pay a fine of 200,000 Egyptian pounds, equal to about 10,735 euros. Not only. Three men are also involved in the investigation, found guilty of complicity with Adham, who in turn was sentenced to his sentence, 6 years for appeal.
According to the Egyptian authorities, two young underage girls appear in the videos posted on the TikTok and Likee accounts, a combination that for the authorities would constitute proof of their guilt. Hossam, in particular, was arrested in April 2020, as she was suspected of inducing prostitution. The young woman had published a video clip in which she announced to her followers (about 1.3 million) that girls could earn money by collaborating with her on social networks.
Al-Adham, on the other hand, had been arrested a month after publishing some satirical videos. In the following video, taken from Haneen Hossam’s Instagram profile and disseminated by AjaEgypt, the young woman crying in desperation tells the details of the story that led to her being inflicted for 10 years in prison and launches an appeal to President Abdel Fatah al Sisi.
For Egyptian human rights defenders, the Cairo authorities are carrying out real persecution against women influencers on social networks, generally alleging the violation of traditional values as a crime.
Hossam’s is not an isolated case: on Sunday the Cairo court also sentenced another Egyptian influencer, Mawada al-Adham, 23. She has three million followers on Tiktok and 1.4 on Instagram. The judge found the videos in which the young woman lip-syndicated pop songs were “indecent” and confirmed her sentence of six years.
The same sentence in October 2020 also fell to a mother and a daughter who became famous on TikTok, Sherifa Rafat, and Nora Hisham, one hundred thousand followers in total. The judge confirmed the accusation of “incitement to prostitution” because of the ironic videos in which women appeared wearing make-up and dressed in elegant and sometimes flashy clothes, to discuss various topics.