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Iraqi TikTok star Om Fahad shot dead outside her Baghdad home

An Iraqi TikTok star, known to his followers as Om Fahad, was fatally shot in an overnight attack outside his home in Baghdad, authorities said.

A lone attacker on a motorcycle approached Fahad, whose legal name is Ghufran Sawadi, as she sat in a black SUV Friday evening. He fired shots inside the car before fleeing, according to security camera footage broadcast by Iraqi television.

The Iraqi Interior Ministry said it had established a team to investigate the slaughter. No arrests have been made.

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

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

A committee was created to search social platforms for clips deemed offensive. The government also created Balgh, an online platform where users can report the removal of content.

Fahad was among six Iraqi content creators last year sentenced to prison terms ranging from six months to two years for “undermining morals and public decency.” Authorities have opened investigations into eight other creators. Some were forced to apologize and remove their content.

A report by Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor, a Geneva-based nonprofit, found that the trial was marked by vague accusations and did not include any grounds for accusation.

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

In 2018, Tara Fares, a model and Instagram creator with more than 2 million followers, was shot to death in broad daylight in her car in Baghdad. No arrests have been made in this case. The Minister of the Interior at the time accused “outlaw extremist groups” of being behind this assassination.

Although Iraq’s constitution protects freedom of expression and freedom of the press, it states that such speech must “not violate public order or morality.”

TikTok is one of the most popular social 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 over what officials call the “disintegration of Iraq’s social fabric.” The Ministry of Communications requested a ban in March.

Snell reported from Washington and Salim from Baghdad.

News Source :
Gn world

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