Home Blogs TikTok Celebrity Om Fahad Assassinated in Iraq Amidst Influencer Feud

TikTok Celebrity Om Fahad Assassinated in Iraq Amidst Influencer Feud

TikTok Celebrity Om Fahad Assassinated in Iraq Amidst Influencer Feud

Om Fahad, a prominent Iraqi TikTok influencer, was tragically shot and killed outside her home in Baghdad, as confirmed by Iraqi security forces. The attack occurred when an unknown assailant, posing as a food delivery person on a motorcycle, targeted her in her vehicle in the Zayouna district, as per security officials who wished to remain unnamed.

During the incident, another woman sustained injuries, reported by the Al Hurra news agency. Following Fahad’s death, Iraq’s Interior Ministry announced the formation of a ‘specialist work team’ to investigate the assassination.

Fahad, who entertained her followers with playful TikTok videos often featuring Iraqi music and tight outfits, had been recently caught up in a public dispute with another influencer, Dalia Naeem, also known as ‘Iraqi Barbie.’ This feud escalated after threats from Naeem to expose Fahad’s alleged ties with security officials, according to the BBC. Earlier in the year, Fahad, whose real name was Ghufran Sawadi, faced a six-month jail sentence for producing content deemed as undermining modesty and public morality.

Fahad gained significant attention for her vibrant TikTok content, which led to her imprisonment last year as part of a broader governmental crackdown on social media content violating local morals and traditions. This campaign included monitoring platforms like TikTok and YouTube for offensive material, equating such content to organized crime and a threat to Iraqi societal values.

This strict enforcement has led to multiple arrests of influencers, like Assal Hossam, who received a two-year prison sentence shortly after Fahad’s sentencing. Hossam’s videos often featured her in a tight military uniform.

Despite Iraq regaining some stability after years of conflict, the state continues to impose severe limitations on civil liberties, particularly affecting women and sexual minorities. Mustafa Saadun from the Iraqi Observatory for Human Rights criticized the vague legal language used in these campaigns, which he argued could lead to wrongful arrests.

The situation recalls the 2018 assassination of model and influencer Tara Fares in Baghdad. Amnesty International has criticized Iraq’s ongoing crackdown on ‘indecent content,’ noting severe restrictions on freedoms, especially targeting the LGBTI community and women’s protection against gender-based violence.

In related news, neighboring Iran is also experiencing a harsh crackdown on public morality. Recently, rapper Toomaj Salehi faced severe repercussions, including a potential death sentence, for his involvement in protests and support for women’s rights following Mahsa Amini’s death in police custody in 2022. Salehi’s case was returned to a lower court after a Supreme Court decision spared him from the death penalty, but he remains a symbol of the broader unrest and pushback against oppressive norms.


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