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A Social Media Celebrity Was Killed By Her Brother Because She "Dishonored" Her Family

Qandeel Baloch – real name Fouzia Azeem – had been dubbed Pakistan's Kim Kardashian for posting provocative selfies and declaring herself a "modern day feminist".

Last updated on July 17, 2016, at 3:40 a.m. ET

Posted on July 16, 2016, at 12:38 p.m. ET

A popular Pakistani model and social media personality, who was famous for being outspoken and championing female sexuality, was killed by one of her brothers for "dishonoring" their family, police say.

I will fight for it. I will not give up. I will reach my goal. & absolutely nothing will stop me.#qandeelbaloch

Qandeel Baloch – real name Fouzia Azeem – had been at her family home visiting her parents in Multan, Pakistan, when she was strangled to death on Friday night, police said.

Her death was reported to police on Saturday morning by her parents. Police in Multan said her father, Muhammad Azeem, told them that his son Waseem had strangled her. She was 26 years old.

Her brother, 25-year-old Waseem Baloch, was arrested in Dera Ghazi Khan, central Pakistan, later on Saturday in connection with her murder.

He has confessed to killing her by drugging and strangling her because he believed she had been "dishonouring the Baloch name," according to local news reports.

Baloch was a an at-times controversial internet star who starred in viral videos – the provocative selfies she shared prompting her to be dubbed Pakistani's own Kim Kardashian. She was murdered after her brother warned her to stop posting photos and videos on social media, her parents said according to The Express Tribune.

Instagram

Baloch had more than 600,000 Facebook fans and more than 100,000 followers on Instagram.

Just three weeks ago, she had asked police for protection after receiving numerous death threats, particularly on social media where she was the target of misogynist abuse.

Instagram

Many young women praised Baloch for not being confined by Pakistan's conservative culture, and hailed her a champion of women's sexual freedom. Baloch described herself as a "modern day feminist."

Facebook

On Friday, Baloch shared a Facebook post that read: “I believe in equality. I need not to choose what type of women should be. I don’t think there is any need to label ourselves just for sake of society.”

Baloch would also share messages about women's rights on Facebook and Twitter. She recently said "this patriarchal society is bad," and described herself as a voice for "ladies who are treated badly."

Cute ? #BreakingNews #IndiaISISandBangladesh

As a women we must stand up for ourselves..As a women we must stand up for each other...As a women we must stand... https://t.co/v8XoETLh8A

Baloch criticised the media for not "giving any credit for speaking about empowerment of women, girl power," particularly in light of her escape from a forced, violent marriage.

Baloch's parents forced her into a marriage with an "older, uneducated" man when she was 17. She described the marriage as violent, and that he once tried to throw acid on her, telling her 'I’ll burn your face because you’re so beautiful’. The relationship ended when she was 19, and she had one child with him.

"I want to give those girls a positive message who have been forcefully married, who continue to sacrifice," she had told Dawn. "I want to be an example for those people. That’s my aim."

"What about my self-worth? My identity?," she added. "I don’t know how many girls have felt support through my persona. I’m girl power. So many girls tell me I’m girl power, and yes, I am."

In the same interview, Baloch said the entertainment industry was difficult to break into because people "try to misuse girls," and that "it is difficult it is to move around as a woman in this society."

She said her boldness "was her revenge" to her country.

Gender-based murder by relatives is widespread in Pakistan. According to the Pakistan Human Rights Commission, more than 3,000 women were killed in so-called “honor” cases between 2008 and 2014.

Facebook

Baloch's death prompted a huge response on social media, and her name trended on Twitter for the majority of Saturday as people posted tributes and shared their memories.

#QandeelBaloch is trending for one last time. In your death you have slapped our society like nothing else. #RIP

Some remembered her as a woman who "didn't conform to the norm."

She didn't conform to the norm, outspoken& unapologetic, silenced 4 ever. Shocked & saddened at #QandeelBaloch's murder

Others described her as "unapologetic" and "larger than life."

#QandeelBaloch was larger than life, in your face, unapologetic about her ambitions and her womanhood. Goodbye, you crazy, beautiful woman

She spoke out on how womens' actions are constantly policed and, in the end, was proven right. Rest in peace, queen. https://t.co/LzHtUdLjNF

'Masculinity so fragile a woman only needs to breathe to hurt it' #QandeelBaloch .

Protests were planned in the cities of Lahore and Karachi.

Come and join us. Condemn #Qandeel murder at all levels. #LibertyChok

However, some people in Pakistan celebrated her death, and described her as a "disgrace for the country."

Deep thoughts from "head of strategy" at Pakistan's "leading digital and social media agency". Wow.

Others said her murder was "good news" and that she "deserved" to be murdered.

Twitter

Many said her murder was an important rally cry for anti-honor killing legislation to be passed by the government.

#QandeelBaloch killed in an #honorkilling- how many women have to die before we pass the Anti Honor Killing Bill?

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