Egyptian TikTok star Haneen Hossam has been detained after being convicted of human trafficking. Hossam and Mawadah al-Adham, both university students, were sentenced to 10 years and six years respectively for recruiting women to post on the short video platform, Likee, which authorities claimed encouraged women to sell sex online. Hossam was previously sentenced to two years in jail last July for the similar charge of “promoting immorality” to her 900,000 followers by encouraging women to make money through social media. “I was wronged, and I did not do anything. I am literally dying. Save me. My mother is about to have a stroke after the ruling,” she said in a video shortly before her arrest.
The case is part of crackdown on female social media influencers by the Egyptian government in an apparent effort to protect “family values.” “We can see other videos and posts on social media by men justifying marital rape but with no reaction against them,” Entessar el-Saeed, a women’s rights activist said. Hossam’s lawyers plan to appeal her prison sentence.