Facebook star killed 'by brother for honour' in Pakistan

Facebook star killed 'by brother for honour' in Pakistan
Published: 2016 July 16 14:10:46 (11753 Views)
A Pakistani social media celebrity whose selfies polarised the deeply conservative Muslim country has been murdered by her brother in a suspected honour killing, officials said Saturday.

Qandeel Baloch, praised by many of the country's youth for her willingness to break social taboos but condemned by conservatives, was strangled near the city of Multan, police said.

Baloch, believed to be in her twenties and whose real name was Fauzia Azeem, had travelled with her family to Muzzafarabad village in central Punjab province for the recent Eid holiday.

She was killed there Friday, police said, adding that the brother, Wasim, was now on the run.

Up to 100 officers were gathered outside her family's home in Muzzafarabad, an AFP reporter there said.

"My daughter was innocent, we are innocent, we want justice, why was my daughter killed?" Baloch's father Azeem Ahmad told reporters there.

Hundreds of women are murdered for "honour" every year in Pakistan.

The killers overwhelmingly walk free because of a law that allows the family of the victim to forgive the murderer who is often also a relative.



Baloch shot to fame in Pakistan in 2014 after a video of her pouting at the camera and asking "How em looking?" went viral.

Her defiance of tradition and defence of liberal views won her many admirers among Pakistan's overwhelmingly young population.

But in a country where women have fought for rights for decades, and acid attacks and honour killings remain commonplace, she was also reviled by many and frequently subject to misogynist abuse.

Baloch provoked controversy last month after posing for selfies with a high-profile cleric, who was sternly rebuked by the country's religious affairs ministry.

"People are going crazy -- especially girls. I get so many calls where they tell me I'm their inspiration and they want to be like me," she told AFP after posting a provocative selfie on Valentine's Day.

In her last interview with Pakistan's biggest English-language newspaper Dawn she spoke of being married against her will at age 17 to "an uneducated man" with whom she had a child, adding that they later divorced.

She had reportedly spoken of leaving the country out of fear for her safety, with Dawn reporting that her request to officials for protection had been ignored.

Obaid-Chinoy told AFP the murder showed no women in Pakistan would be safe "until we start sending men who kill women to jail".




Source - AFP

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