NewsIraqi TikToker Om Fahad was gunned down. A pattern of violence emerges

Iraqi TikToker Om Fahad was gunned down. A pattern of violence emerges

Dramatic event in Baghdad
Dramatic event in Baghdad
Images source: © X

7:12 AM EDT, April 28, 2024

Om Fahad, an Iraqi TikToker, was tragically shot dead right in front of her home in Baghdad. The perpetrator, arriving on a motorcycle, walked up to her car and fired shots at her. A surveillance camera captured this chilling event.

The attack occurred in Baghdad's upscale Zayouna district. CCTV footage reveals a masked individual on a motorcycle, clad in black and wearing a helmet, pulling up, approaching a black SUV, opening the door, and firing at the woman seated inside.

Ghufran Sawadi, better known by her TikTok alias Om Fahad, was the victim of this brutal attack. Reports from local media indicate that another woman was injured during this incident. In response, Iraqi authorities have initiated a thorough investigation.

Unconfirmed reports suggest that the influencer's phone went missing following the attack.

Some have pointed fingers at the Iran-supported Popular Mobilization Forces—a Shiite militia in Iraq—as the culprits behind this violence.

Om Fahad gained popularity in Iraq for her dance videos. However, her choice of attire in some videos sparked controversy among Islamic conservatives. In February 2023, she received a six-month prison sentence for using "indecent words that undermine modesty and public morality," as determined by the court.

A string of violent incidents

The past few months have seen several influencers in Iraq fall victim to deadly attacks. In September, 23-year-old Noor Alsaffar, also known as Noor BM, was fatally shot. Moreover, a knife attack claimed the life of Simsima, a transgender blogger, in February.

Regressively, Iraq has recently passed a law imposing up to 15 years of imprisonment for those in same-sex relationships, with transgender individuals facing the same harsh penalties. This marks a significant departure from Baghdad's earlier claimed liberal stance on sexual orientation and gender identity issues, a position it had previously touted in communications with global organizations.

Interestingly, influencers in Iraq are often involved in campaigns beyond mere beauty product promotions, including government-sponsored initiatives. A controversial instance from last week involved an influencer being allowed access to a military base, drawing widespread criticism towards the defense ministry's judgment.

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