Lahore: Pakistani social media star Qandeel Baloch’s brother was sentenced to life imprisonment by a court here Friday for murdering her in an apparent case of honour killing. Fouzia Azeem, better known as Qandeel was strangled to death July 15, 2016 at her home in Multan.
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, Muhammad Wasim, it acquitted all other suspects including her second brother Aslam Shaheen, her cousin Haq Nawaz and known cleric Abdul Qavi. Thirty five witnesses recorded their recorded their statements in the case.
Qandeel’s brother Wasim had confessed to the crime and stated that his sister brought ‘disrepute’ to the ‘family’s honour’ with her risqué 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. Wasim will be sent to Central Jail in Multan to serve his sentence.
Last month, Qandeel’s parents pardoned their sons and sought their acquittal. However, the court had rejected their plea.
Qandeel 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 led 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.