5 Facts About Iraq TikTok Star Om Fahad Who Was Shot Dead Outside Her Home

Om Fahad lived in eastern Baghdad’s Zoyouna district and was killed there.

New Delhi:

Iraqi TikTok star Om Fahad was shot dead outside her home in Baghdad by an unidentified attacker on Saturday. Surveillance camera footage captured from the site of the attack shows the attacker arriving on a motorcycle near the content creator’s residence. After getting off his bike, the assailant can be seen walking towards the black SUV in which Ms Fahad was sitting.

Wearing dark clothes and a helmet, the attacker pulled the door of Ms Fahad’s vehicle open and fired a few rounds at her. 

Here are some facts about Om Fahad:

1. Om Fahad’s real name is Ghufran Sawadi.

2. She lived in eastern Baghdad’s Zoyouna district and was killed there.

3. As a well-known TikToker, Ms Fahad had nearly half a million followers. Her content usually featured her dancing to Iraqi music as well as shopping and food vlogs. Some of her videos amassed more than one million views.

4. Last year in February, Ms Fahad was sentenced to six months in prison by a court. This was after the court found her content contained “indecent speech that undermines modesty and public morality”.

5. Soon after, the Geneva-based Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor stated that it found no grounds for the indictment of Om Fahad. The report also claimed that her content did not exceed the limits of her rights to freedom of opinion, expression or publication.

In January 2023, the Iraqi Interior Ministry formed a committee to uncover “inappropriate and offensive content” shared by influencers such as Om Fahad, aiming to protect “morals and family values” in Iraqi society. Al Jazeera revealed that the ministry also established an online platform for Iraqi users to report such content for removal. Officials shared that the public embraced the platform, leading to tens of thousands of reports. As a result, several online content creators were compelled to apologize and remove certain content following the ministry’s crackdown.

Ms Fahad is not the first Iraqi influencer to be shot amid the rising crackdown on online freedom. Her murder comes nearly a year after the killing of 23-year-old TikToker Noor Alsaffar.

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