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Sunday, 29 November 2020

2 Egyptian influencers sentenced to 2 years in prison over TikTok videos that 'violated family values'

The defendants, who were also fined EGP 300,000, can still appeal the sentence

El-Sayed Gamal El-Din , Monday 27 Jul 2020
Haneen Hossam
Haneen Hossam in a screenshot taken from the video that resulted in her arrest
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A Cairo economic court sentenced on Monday TikTok influencers Haneen Hossam and Mawada Eladhm, who are well-known for their content on the video-sharing platform, and three others to two years in prison for “violating family values and principles.”

The defendants, who were also fined EGP 300,000, can still appeal the sentence.

The defendants were referred to criminal court in June for what the prosecution described as “violating family values and principles and establishing and running online accounts to commit this crime.”

One of the three other defendants in the case was charged with possessing unauthorised and illegal software for the purpose of using it to facilitate committing these crimes. These defendants were charged with helping one of the girls evade arrest, concealing evidence of the crime, and publishing materials to influence public opinion about the case.

Eladhm was arrested on 14 May after she fled her residence at an upscale New Cairo gated community, moving around between Cairo and the North Coast after an arrest warrant was issued against her.

Eladhm, who has 3.1 million followers on TikTok and 1.6 million followers on Instagram, gained fame for posting lip syncing and dance videos.

Hossam, who has 1.2 million followers on TikTok, was arrested on 21 April for inciting debauchery and human trafficking. She was arrested a few days after she posted a video on TikTok encouraging women to publish live videos and talk with strangers, via short video sharing platform Likee, in exchange for money.

A court ordered her release on EGP 10,000 bail after she spent about a month-and-a-half in custody; however, the 20-year-old influencer was remanded once again after the prosecution presented new evidence.

A Cairo Economic appeals court has set on Monday an appeal hearing for the TikTok influencers to challenge their jail and fine sentence  on 17 August. 

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