Pakistani Social Media Star Allegedly Strangled to Death by Brother in 'Honor Killing': Reports
Pakistani social media celebrity Qandeel Baloch has died, according to reports. Police and her family are saying her brother strangled her in her sleep, according to multiple outlets.
Police say that Baloch’s body was found in her family home on Saturday, according Reuters. The Associated Press and multiple other outlets have said that her brother, Waseem Azeem, allegedly killed his sister in what is being called an “honor killing.” Hundreds of Pakistani women who “[violate] conservative norms” are killed by family members each year in these types of killings as punishment, according to the AP.
Police tell Reuters that they are currently looking to Azeem, who has disappeared.
“[Waseem] had serious reservations regarding her pictures being circulated on social media,” Baloch’s father, Muhammad Azeem told reporters in Multan, according to Reuters. “He escaped after strangling Qandeel.”
Her father also told local reporters that he thought his daughter was “brave.”
While Baloch was revered by many liberals, but Muslim conservatives took extreme offense when she posted pictures of herself with a prominent Muslim cleric, according to the AP.
Baloch is known by some as Pakistan’s Kim Kardashian West, according to Reuters, and news of her death comes just week after reports that she sought protection from the government because of anonymous death threats she was receiving.
Baloch used her social media platform to discuss female empowerment and protest the patriarchal society she was born into, according to her Facebook page. To date, the page has nearly 750,000 likes.
On her Facebook page, Baloch often wrote about her appreciation for the international support she recieved, and posted one video news report from the United Kingdom about herself.
And she frequently updated this page with images of herself and inspiring messages. In one posted early Friday morning, the social media star wrote, “I will Keep On Achieving and I know You will Keep On Hating.”
Baloch reportedly planned to move to another country with her parents to escape the criticism she had received in Pakistan, according to a local news source.
“I know I will not be provided security and I am not feeling secured here,” Baloch had reportedly told The Express Tribune. “So have decided to move abroad with my parents after Eidul Fitr.”