Qandeel Baloch honor killing brother gets 25 years jail

Qandeel Baloch brother was sentenced to life imprisonment by a court on Friday for murdering her in an apparent case of honour killing. Fouzia Azeem, better known as Qandeel Baloch was strangled to death at her home in Multan, Punjab province, on July 15, 2016.

Sessions Court Multan Judge Imran Shafi announced his verdict in the case in the presence of all suspects and parents of Qandeel Baloch. While the court awarded life imprisonment to brother of Qandeel, Muhammad Wasim, it acquitted all other suspects including her another brother Aslam Shaheen, her cousin Haq Nawaz and known cleric Abdul Qavi.

A Pakistan court on Friday found Muhammad Waseem guilty of the murder of social media star and sister Qandeel Baloch and sentenced him to life imprisonment. However, his six co-defendants including cleric Mufti Abdul Qavi and Waseem’s two brothers were acquitted.

A total 35 witnesses recorded their statements. Her brother Wasim had confessed to the crime, saying she brought “disrepute” to the “family’s honour” with her risque videos and statements posted on social media. The results of the DNA and forensic reports had also confirmed his involvement in her murder, according to the prosecution.

Last month, her parents pardoned their sons and sought their acquittal. However, the court had rejected their plea. Qandeel Baloch became famous for her bold social media posts pictures, videos and comments. But these were considered outrageous by the largely conservative Pakistani community.

Every year over 1,000 women are murdered in Pakistan in so called ‘honour killings’ committed by their male relatives.

It was Qandeel’s murder that restarted the debate in the Muslim country that lead to the passing of an amendment to Pakistan’s Penal Code in October 2016, allowing the police to take over from the victim’s family as the main complainant in the case of an honour killing.

The amendment made it impossible for the family to use the country’s laws that allow close relatives of murder victims to pardon the killers.

Additionally, continued support for Waseem and his co-defendants demonstrate that such murder cases continue to be deeply divisive in the patriarchal and socially conservative nation.

Waseem’s mother, Anwar Mai had also hoped for an acquittal “He is innocent. She was my daughter and he is my son,” she said before the verdict.

Demonstrating further societal acceptance for this type of crime Muhammad Waseem admitted publicly to the murder of his sister at a press conference which was organized by police shortly after the killing.

According to Waseem she has “brought dishonor to the Baloch name” because of the types of videos and statements which she had posted on social media. He added “of course” he had murdered his sister Qandeel Baloch and that her behavior had been “intolerable”.

Qandeel Baloch real name

Qandeel Baloch whose real name was Fauzia Azeem, was described as Pakistan’s Kim Kardashian and had built a modelling career on the back of her social media fame, but drew ire from many in the conservative South Asian nation. She spoke in her videos of trying to change “the typical orthodox mindset” of people in Pakistan.

Some of Baloch’s better-known actions included offering to perform a striptease for the Pakistani cricket team, and donning a plunging scarlet dress on Valentine’s Day.

Despite the backlash following Baloch’s death about 500 women continue to be killed each year in Pakistan at the hands of family members over perceived damage to family “honor.” This is can involve eloping, fraternizing with men or any other infraction against conservative values that govern women’s modesty.

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