Haneen Hossam speaks in a TikTok video after the court ruling on Sunday. Screenshot
Police arrested on Tuesday Egyptian TikTok influencer Haneen Hossam, 19, two days after a Cairo court sentenced her in absentia to 10 years in prison over human trafficking-related charges.
The court on Sunday also sentenced four other girls in the case to six years in prison and a EGP 200,000 fine, including Mawada Eladhm.
The ruling is not final and can be appealed.
Hossam has not attended the court sessions while being tried along with the other girls in the human trafficking case. She has escaped trial since the court ordered her arrest in April.
The prosecution accused Hossam, Eladhm and the other girls 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.
Hossam appeared in a video after the Sunday ruling bawling over her 10-year sentence and denying committing any human trafficking acts.
“How would a 19-year-old girl commit human trafficking? That is a very big term that I do not even know about. I never hurt anyone,” Hossam said in the video.
Hossam, a university student who has 1.2 million followers on TikTok, was arrested on charges of inciting debauchery and human trafficking.
She was acquitted in January 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 her in the case.