May 30, 2024

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Iraqi TikTok star Umm Fahd was shot dead outside her home in Baghdad

The Iraqi TikTok star known to her followers as Umm Fahd was shot dead in a late-night attack outside her home in Baghdad, authorities said.

A lone attacker on a motorcycle approached Fahd, whose legal name is Ghufran Sawadi, while she was sitting in a black SUV on Friday night. He fired shots inside the car before fleeing, according to security camera footage broadcast on Iraqi television.

The Iraqi Ministry of Interior said it had established Investigation team the kill. No arrests have been made.

Fahd became popular on TikTok with nearly half a million followers and featured videos of her dancing to Iraqi music and showing her daily life.

Last year, the Iraqi government launched a campaign to purge social media content that it said violated “morals and traditions.”

A committee was formed to examine social media platforms for clips it deemed offensive. The government also created “Balgh,” an online platform where users can report content to be removed.

Fahd was among six Iraqi content creators last year who received prison sentences ranging from six months to two years for “offending public morals and morals.” The authorities opened investigations into eight other creators. Some were forced to apologize and remove their content.

a a report The Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor, a Geneva-based non-profit organization, found that the trial was characterized by vague charges and had no basis for charging.

This is not the first time a popular Iraqi social media content creator has been killed.

In 2018, Tara Fares, an Instagram model and content creator with more than two million followers, was shot dead in broad daylight inside her car in Baghdad. No arrests have been made in the case. The then Minister of the Interior accused “extremist groups outside the law” of being behind the killing.

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While the Iraqi constitution protects freedom of expression and the press, it stipulates that such speech must “not violate public order and public morals.”

TikTok is one of the most popular social media platforms in Iraq, used by nearly 32 million people, according to the Iraqi Digital Media Center, an independent monitoring group.

The platform has sparked controversy in recent years due to what officials described as “the disintegration of the Iraqi social fabric.” Ministry of Communications in March required be prohibited.

Snell reported from Washington and Salem from Baghdad.