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Brother who murdered ‘Pakistan’s Kim Kardashian’ receives life sentence for ‘honor killing’ that shook the country

Brother who murdered ‘Pakistan’s Kim Kardashian’ receives life sentence for ‘honor killing’ that shook the country
A Pakistani court has sentenced the brother of Qandeel Baloch to life in prison, three years after he murdered the social media star. The high-profile case prompted a crackdown on so-called ‘honor killings’ in the country.

Mohammad Waseem Baloch was found guilty of drugging and strangling his sister in July 2016. Six other defendants, including religious scholar Mufti Abdul Qavi and Qandeel’s other two brothers, Aslam Shaheen and Arif, were acquitted in the case.

Wassem had initially confessed to killing his sister, arguing that she had brought shame to his family with her boundary-pushing social media presence.

Dubbed the Kim Kardashian of Pakistan, Qandeel, whose real name was Fauzia Azeem, had more than 750,000 Facebook subscribers, some 51,000 followers on Instagram, and about 43,000 Twitter followers. The 26-year-old rose to prominence by posting content that was often deemed taboo in her socially conservative homeland.

The case garnered international attention due to a bizarre legal loophole in Pakistan, which allowed those who commit a so-called ‘honor-killing’ to walk free if they are forgiven by the victim’s family.

Uproar over the possibility that Qandeel’s killers might walk free prompted new anti-honor-killing legislation, which mandated a minimum of 12 years for such crimes.

Qandeel’s father, Muhammad Azeem, had originally brought charges against his sons, stating that he would be happy if they “hanged for their unforgivable crime.” The parents later forgave their sons, and argued that the new honor-killing law could not be implemented retroactively to the case.

Despite international outcry over Qandeel’s murder, women in Pakistan continue to be killed by relatives for allegedly ‘dishonoring’ their families. According to one estimate, there were more than 15,000 honor killings – carried out against both men and women – between 2004 and 2016.

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