‘Honour’ killing of Youtuber sparks major outrage in Iraq
The death of 22-year-old YouTube star Tiba al-Ali at the hands of her father has triggered major outrage in Iraq, where cases of “honour killings” still come in the news. Interior ministry spokesman Saad Maan took to Twitter on Friday to reveal the incident, mentioning Ali was killed by her father on January 31 in the southern province of Diwaniya.
Police had tried to mediate between the young woman and her relatives to “resolve the family dispute in a definitive manner,” he added.
Ali had been living in Turkey and was visiting Iraq at the time. Unverified recordings of conversations between her and her father appeared to suggest that he wasn’t pleased with her daughter’s decision to live alone in Turkey.
Maan said after the police’s initial encounter with the family “we were surprised the next day … with the news of her killing at the hands of her father, as he admitted in his initial confessions.”
He hasn’t provided any additional details on the nature of the dispute yet.
The “family dispute” dated back several years, possibly to 2015, AFP cited an anonymous police source as saying. Ali had travelled to Turkey with her family in 2017, but she decided to not join them on their return, choosing instead to stay in Turkey where she had been residing since, the source added.
“She left her family … because she was sexually assaulted by her brother,” human rights activist Hanaa Edwar told AFP, citing voice recordings attributed to the young woman.
Ali posted videos of her daily life on YouTube, in which her fiancé often appeared, and had gained quite a following on the channel. Her death has triggered an uproar among Iraqis on social media, who have called for demonstrations on Sunday in the capital city of Baghdad to demand justice.
The incident has also drawn condemnation from Amnesty International, which blamed the continued lenient treatment of “honour crimes” by “the Iraqi penal code”.