The brother of a murdered social-media star described as Pakistan’s Kim Kardashian has been acquitted on appeal — less than three years after being convicted for the so-called “honor killing.”
Muhammad Waseem was freed by an appeals court in the city of Multan in the alleged killing of his sister, Qandeel Baloch, 26, his defense lawyer Sardar Mehboob said Monday.
Waseem — who was convicted of murder in September 2019 and sentenced to life behind bars — had admitted at a press conference organized by police that he strangled Baloch due to her risqué Facebook posts.
The modeling star, whose real name was Fauzia Azeem, had spoken in the posts of trying to change “the typical orthodox mindset” of people in the country.
She faced frequent misogynist abuse and death threats but continued to post provocative images and videos in the conservative South Asian nation.
The killing of the self-proclaimed “modern-day feminist” in 2016 sent shockwaves across Pakistan and prompted the government to tighten laws to ensure that killers would not walk free if family members forgave them.
Waseem’s parents had forgiven their son — who said he had no remorse for the murder because Baloch’s behavior was “intolerable” — and asked for him to be acquitted.
“He has been fully acquitted” by the appeals court in the eastern city of Multan, Mehboob told Agence France-Presse.
He is expected to be released later this week.