Haneen Hossam(L) and Mawda Eladham(R)
A Cairo criminal court on Sunday sentenced the popular TikTok influencers Mawada Eladhm and Haneen Hossam to six and ten years in prison, respectively, over human trafficking related charges.
The ruling, which is not final and can be appealed, comes after the pair were acquitted in January in another case on charges of “violating family values and principles.”
The January ruling cancels a two-year imprisonment verdict and a fine of EGP 300,000 issued against them in the case.
Hossam received the ruling in absentia, while Eladhm was present amid tight security.
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, a university student who has 1.2 million followers on TikTok, was arrested on charges of inciting debauchery and human trafficking.
Her arrest came 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.
The Sunday ruling against the pair over human trafficking charges comes after the prosecution referred them to the criminal court last March.
The prosecution accused them of human trafficking by “using girls in acts contrary to the principles and values of Egyptian society with the aim of gaining material benefits.”
The prosecution said the accused TikTokers exploited — as part of a criminal group “organised” for human trafficking purposes — the victims’ “poor” economic circumstances and their need for money by promising them a sum of money.