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Pakistani Social Media Star Murdered by Her Brother in Apparent Honor Killing

Qandeel Baloch, a controversial Pakistani social media star with over 750,000 Facebook followers, was strangled to death by her brother in an apparent “honor” killing in the city of Multan in the Punjob providence of Pakistan, according to CNN.

According to Mashable, Baloch’s brother, Muhammad Waseem, told police that he sedated Baloch before strangling her. After killing her, Waseem fled the scene and was later arrested.

“I am a drug addict but I was in my senses when I murdered her and I accept it with pride. Now everybody will remember me with honor that I have provided relief to my parents and brothers who were suffering for the last two decades because of her,” Waseem said in a press conference organized by police. “I have no regrets.”

According to CNN, Baloch, whose real name was Fauzia Azeem, was known for pushing the conservative boundaries of Pakistani society through her risqué social media posts which include videos about politics as well as glamorous selfies. Last week, Buloch released a new music video titled “Ban,” which satirized the restrictions put on her by soicety.

“Girls are born only to stay at home and to bring honor to the family by following family traditions but Qandeel had never done that,” Waseem said at the press conference.

It was reported by local media that Baloch, who was 25 at the time of her death, had gotten married when she was 17 and left her husband a year later, according to CNN. Hassan Choudary, the digital editor at Express Tribune Life & Style, told CNN that two days before her death, Baloch reached out to him saying that she “feared for her life.” According to Reuters, Baloch also asked the interior ministry to help protect her, but no security was given to Baloch.

In Pakistan, hundreds of women are killed every year in honor killings by not adhering to social norms, according to the Telegraph.

Baloch wrote a Facebook post the morning of her death proclaiming that she is a fighter and will bounce back, referring to herself as a one-woman army. Baloch also expressed her desire to be an inspiration to women who are treated badly and dominated by society. 

Rachel Popa is a college Junior majoring in Journalism and English with a concentration in Creative Writing. She is a self-descibed "Hobbit" living in the big city of Chicago. Her passions include (but are not limited to) books, writing, "Game of Thrones," caffinated beverages and corgis. Feel free to follow her on Twitter at @_poparazzi, or drop her a line at [email protected] 
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