Qandeel Baloch: Pakistani social media star strangled by her brother
Pakistani social media celebrity Qandeel Baloch has been killed by her brother in an apparent ‘honor killing’ in the province of Punjab, police say. Ms Baloch, 26, recently caused controversy by posting controversial pictures of herself on social media, including one with her alongside a Muslim cleric. Police say she was strangled to death. Cases of women being killed for‘dishonoring’ their family are commonplace in Pakistan.
Baloch’s father Muhammad Azeem reported her death to the police, her brother is currently on the run, and the case of her death is being investigated by police.
He was later arrested and confessed on a video that police showed at a news conference.
Baloch had risen to fame due to the brazenly sassy, and increasingly political, videos that she had started posting on Facebook.
Yet in Pakistan, her flirty antics were unusual, pushing the boundaries of what’s acceptable of women in Pakistan. According to the World Economic Forum’s 2015 Gender Gap Report, Pakistan was second to last on the list of 145 countries with regards to gender disparity.
She had nearly 750,000 followers on Facebook, where her videos went viral but were also the subject of much debate and discomfort. In recent weeks, several of her posts encouraged her audience to challenge old practices of Pakistani society. In a July 14 post, Baloch referred to herself as a “modern day feminist.”