Supplied Editorial Qandeel Baloch
Supplied Editorial Qandeel Baloch

Model murdered after ‘racy’ post

The brother of a social media model has been found guilty of her murder and sentenced to life in prison in Pakistan.

Qandeel Baloch, 26, was found strangled at her home near the city of Multan in 2016.

She was killed shortly after posting racy pictures on Facebook of herself with Muslim cleric Mufti Abdul Qawi, who was later arrested for his alleged involvement in the murder.

 

Baloch's brother, Mohammed Wasim Azeem, confessed to her killing.

Their father blamed the cleric for instigating the murder, in which Azeem drugged and strangled his sister as their parents slept downstairs.

A judge in Multan acquitted four other suspects, including Qawi, whose supporters showered him with rose petals as he left the court.

Mohammed Wasim Azeem was sentenced to life in prison over the murder. Picture: AP Photo/Asim Tanveer
Mohammed Wasim Azeem was sentenced to life in prison over the murder. Picture: AP Photo/Asim Tanveer

Nearly 1000 Pakistani women are murdered by close relatives each year in so-called "honour killings" for violating conservative norms on love and marriage.

Born Fauzia Azeem, Baloch changed her name and became a provocative social media star after rising from a poor farming family and escaping an abusive marriage, in which her husband burned and beat her.

Shortly after her murder, father Muhammed Azeem was adamant he had loved his daughters, supported everything Baloch had done and had raised his daughters to be independent young women.

Pakistani social media star Qandeel Baloch was murdered by her brother. Picture: AP Photo/M Jameel
Pakistani social media star Qandeel Baloch was murdered by her brother. Picture: AP Photo/M Jameel

Baloch's mother, Anwar Bibi, cried as she spoke to reporters outside the court after the sentencing.

"Qandeel was helping us financially and she was giving us money to run our kitchen," she said.

"She used to pay the rent for our house, but with her sudden murder by my son, our one and only source of income also ended," she said.


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