Popular Iraqi video content creator and TikTok star Eman Sami Maghdid was allegedly shot dead in a case of supposed honour killing. Known to her 47,000 odd online fans as “Maria”, the 20-year-old was known for challenging conventional norms, for instance by posing in clothes that showed her midriff. She would also smoke on-screen.
The brother of the 20-year-old TikTok star, who is 17 years old, is the prime suspect in the case. Initially, the suspect(s) in Maghdid’s death could not identified. The prima facie reports spoke of “unknown assailants”. However, subsequent media reports said her brother had shot her.
The TikTok star had reportedly converted to Christianity. Some of her videos show her sporting the crucifix as the locket of her necklace.
In a post on Facebook in August 2021, she had written: “I believe that humans will always suffer at the hands of other humans.”
The suspect reportedly fired multiple bullets into Maghdid over the past weekend, on a road near the Erbil International Airport, in the Iraqi region of Kurdistan.
Police have arrested the teen, as well as another person suspected of sheltering him.
The TikTok star’s murder follows those of at least nine other women this year in Iraq’s Kurdistan region, and also 23-year-old transgender woman Doski Azad who was shot dead too — allegedly by her brother.
Azad had had to move home regularly due to threats and was found dead in a ditch.