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Egypt court orders release of female TikTok influencer; renews detention of another in human trafficking case

The two influencers are in detention on human trafficking charges; however, they have been acquitted in another case related to their videos on the popular video-sharing platform

El-Sayed Gamal El-Din , Wednesday 27 Jan 2021
Haneen Hossam
Haneen Hossam(L) and Mawada Eladham(R)
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A Cairo criminal court has ordered the release of popular female TikTok influencer Haneen Hossam, who was arrested on human trafficking charges.

The court rejected an appeal filed by the prosecution a day earlier against Hossam’s release.

However, the court renewed the detention of another female TikTok influencer, Mawada Eladhm, for 45 days in the same case after accepting the prosecution’s appeal.

The two influencers have remained in detention pending investigations into human trafficking charges; however, they have been acquitted in another case related to their videos on the popular video-sharing platform.

Hossam and Eladhm, who were arrested last year, are facing charges of inciting women to commit “immoral acts” that are against society’s values.

A Cairo economic appeals court acquitted Hossam and Eladhm and others earlier this month of violating family values and principles.

The appeals court overturned a previous court order that handed the two influencers two-year prison terms and a fine of EGP 300,000.

Eladhm, who is in her early 20s, 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, a university student who has 1.2 million followers on TikTok, was arrested on 21 April 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.

Last year, Egyptian authorities arrested several female TikTok users who are known for controversial content that authorities describe as “violating family values and principles.”

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