Social media celebrity Qandeel Baloch has died, say reports. According to police and her loved ones, the Pakistani beauty was strangled by her brother as she slept.
Baloch’s body was discovered at the family home on Saturday, reports Reuters. Meanwhile, The Associated Press reports 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.
“[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, Muslim conservatives took extreme offense after she posted snaps of herself donning a prominent Muslim cleric. The death of Baloch, referred to by many as Pakistan’s Kim Kardashian West, comes just weeks after reports claim she sought protection from the government after receiving anonymous death threats.
According to her Facebook page, the threats could have stemmed from a handful of posts including discussions surrounding female empowerment and protests against the patriarchal society she was born into. In fact, Baloch reportedly planned to move to another country with her parents to escape the criticism she had received in Pakistan. “I know I will not be provided security and I am not feeling secured here,” Baloch had reportedly told The Express Tribune. “So [I] have decided to move abroad with my parents after Eidul Fitr.”
While Baloch’s death is sure to impact the 750K lives she’s touched to date (and more), authorities are confident they will apprehend the bright light’s killer, who escaped following the crime.
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