Middle East

‘Honour’ killing of YouTube star sparks outrage in Iraq

The death of a 22-year-old influencer in Iraq has sparked outrage over the ongoing culture of “honour killing” in the country.

In a thread on Twitter, interior ministry spokesperson Saad Maan said on Friday that Tiba al-Ali was killed by her father on 31 January in the southern province of Diwaniya.

Ali’s father was reportedly unhappy with her decision to live alone in Turkey.

Mr Maan said the police had tried to mediate in the “family dispute” without giving further details about the basis of the disagrement.

He said that after the police’s initial encounter with the family “we were surprised the next day … with the news of her killing at the hands of her father, as he admitted in his initial confessions”.

Ali was a YouTuber who posted videos of her daily life in Turkey. Her videos also regularly featured her fiance.

A police source told AFP that she had travelled to Turkey with her family in 2017, but she refused to return home with them.

She had been living there since, the police source said.

Her death has sparked outrage on social media.

Activist Ala Talabani wrote: “Women in our societies are hostage to backward customs due to the absence of legal deterrents & gov measures – which currently are not commensurate with the size of domestic violence crimes. Yes to legislating the Anti-Domestic Violence Law.”

In a statement Amnesty International has condemned the “horrific” killing.

“Until the Iraqi authorities adopt robust legislation to protect women and girls … we will inevitably continue to witness horrific murders,” a statement by the group’s deputy director for the Middle East and North Africa, Aya Majzoub said.


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