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Episode 157: The Short Life of Qandeel Baloch

2021-01-29 | 🔗

Qandeel Baloch grew up in a conservative village in Pakistan called Shah Sadar Din, a place where it was shocking to see a woman swimming outdoors. She ran away from home, changed her name from Fouzia Azeem, auditioned for Pakistan Idol, and eventually became “Pakistan’s first social media star.” By 2015, she was reported to be one of the 10 most Googled people in Pakistan. As she became more famous, Qandeel Baloch also became more controversial. She received intense criticism when she posed for photos with a famous cleric named Mufti Abdul Qavi in his Karachi hotel room and later tweeted that he had behaved inappropriately, in June 2016. The next month, she was dead. Her brother, Waseem Azeem, confessed to her murder. He said, “She was bringing disrepute to our family’s honour and I could not tolerate it any further.” Because of a loophole in Pakistan’s laws regarding honor killings, he believed he would not be punished.

Sanam Maher’s book is A Woman Like Her: The Story Behind the Honor Killing of a Social Media Star.

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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Hi. It's Phoebe a great way to help support. Our show right now is to buy some criminal merchandise. We're launching a brand new online job will be adding all kinds of new things to it in the coming months. This we're adding a brand new enamel pin and instead of twenty five postcards featuring some of our favorite episode illustrations by Julian Alexander. We also of tee shirts and tote bags even and I'm Phoebe Judge Mask de Checker store go to. This is criminal dot com and click on shop. Thanks very much for your support there is this can now that ran outside of her home and the four I went to her home in the village. I remember them. At that, and someone told me a story about how she loved to swim in it and just the idea of even something like that I'd like a girl being allowed to swim are being allowed, be outdoors in that way can deal release it ass. She stood out from
A lot she really wanted to make something of herself a ban stolen how even when she was a child. She said I want to be famous. I wanted you know my name. I want to sing and dance. She want. To be financially independent. These were ideas not a lot of the women around her had or perhaps even thought of or if they did think of it. It almost feels and symbolic. How do you even begin to dream or something like that? India, Baloch was born on March first, one thousand nine hundred and ninety in the village of Shah Starter Dean in Pakistan. She had six brothers and two sisters. They weren't very well off their home, had mud walls, mud floors, her mother didn't work, but her father Did he worked on the land around their home? Her brother I sort of did origin I was one of her brothers. Had a phone shop like a shop selling phones in the village were speaking about,
Andy Bologna within our modern, a journalist based in Karachi Pakistan. She met with deals parents in two thousand and sixteen and visited the village where she grew up almost felt like culture shock going there, because I remember the first day when I was driving into the village. I was but someone who's a local reporter from that area and he was sort of helping me meet people there and I remember looking out of the car window and saying that the women her dress in a way that I haven't really seen and other parts of the country as very used to seeing women in work eyes, Sir fully covered from head to toe and then over here I was seeing these women wearing this outfit that where it was important that at the top of it almost like a funnel emerging from the top of the burka like where the woman's head is cut out for the eyes way that you might have seen and pictures of women
workers? There was nothing like that and I remember looking at them as rabies and I said something to this rapporteur about it- reasonable, that's nothing leg. Followed by the way exists over. There has told us later, because the women inside this x sway the fabric. The fund allows Erika enter so that they don't suffocate inside it other out and about it can be very hot here in southern Punjab in the summer, as I am something to him about the workers and he just gonna scoffed, and he said you know like in a village very near where I am from the Iranian. Given shoes. Has this thinking? The women's shoes like what does that mean? I'm trying to put it together- and he looked at me and he does that will imagine if you stop, you're not wearing shoes. They wear your eyes and remained. There are always going to remain on the ground, you're, always looking on the ground. Just in case you step on something you're, never gonna, look up, you're, never gonna. Look at anyone around you,
and it was really when I heard that that it struck me just how brave you had to be to come out of a place like that to even imagine something bigger for yourself. I think the girls are can deal including her sisters were getting married. The idea was that you start a family of your own. You get married, you make a home and that's your life. She didn't really want any part of that when she was seventeen years old, Condal married her mother s cousin. She later said that her parents forced her to marry him. It was an arranged marriage, but then there is also some dispute about that, because this man later came forward and said no, was the love, marriage and she loved me, and there is something dispute around, but she was very unhappy in the marriage. She would go home to her parents several times
complain about how her husband used to beat her, how he wasn't kind to her. She had a son very quickly and Just wasn't happy everyone around her expected that in a once, she became a mother should settle down, should come down than ever really happen and she was. Happy in her relationship. Everytime should go to her parents and talk about how her husband B, how he treated her her mother. In particular, I would just it aside and should always take her back to her husband, home and I met her mother. There was something she said that unites our culture and our tradition, once a girl goes into the husbands home. The only way she's leaving that home is in a casket. In two thousand nine candia. Ran away. She got a job as a hostess for bus company, welcoming passengers. Citing a prayer for safe journeys and serving drinks and sandwiches, and she eventually moved her.
I'm a bond once she moved to ask about wishes. The capital she met This man there who a friend it introduced her and he was a manager for models and he's that will do is easy money and you can get into it and you have the face for it. So why don't you just start here and let's see what comes so, I think she saw that as like. So I'm that's ok! Well, I can do this is a short term thing that really appealed. What can deal was doing is praise small shows that are usually said as like entertainment, on the side for something bigger, but the idea is you do more than that you do. It's hopefully going to lead to someone in the audience noticed. The new thinking you're pretty wanting to Have you in a commercial for something wanting to have you as an extra tv show their seen as a stepping stone to something else, to a bigger opportunity and a very small in two thousand thirteen congeal audition to be unpack
stand idle hi. This is me you can be in the larger unprofessional model, a model and in the audition seized as a big city, song and dance about I'm very nervous I'm really shy and she wants. The judges took out a coax, her election what we really want to hear you saying ass, she sighed singing ass. You sound terrible she can't hold a note on the athlete on the show airs you see that the bed with her audition it has all these sound effects added in to make it more ridiculous. And when you look at the judges as all these special effects at one of them has small coming out his ears or something like that, it was basically a mole and a ridiculing this woman and how she has these big ambitions and she thinks she's going to be a big star. She thinks I too think better than anyone else their comments
and she, the audition ends with the judges, giving her feedback that obviously not very good, and then she starts weeping and she's let out of the room and she weeps all the way out and the voice over. Remember in that audition in that bit was they can has wept, all her I make up off and it was very dramatic and people made fun of her for that audition, they watched it, they laughed at her. It was a joke and then afterwards, later on in her career, underlines said that was entirely a set up and I was just playing along and they told me that they wanted my addition to be one of the funny ones, and so I handed for the camera. I did what I had to do to make a fire, and I think that brush with-
name was Goin viral when she has written up in newspapers when people are watching the clip on Youtube and sharing it with their friends or going on Facebook and sharing at their still thing her name. There remember her, and I think that was a point when she learned that In this day and age being famous, you don't have to be famous for doing something: good, you're famous as long as people are talking about you, and I think she had a taste of that and realize as long as I can get people to keep doing this as long as I can keep giving them something that gets them talking about me. That's exactly what I want. This is the way forward. Tell me a little bit about how her social media presents after this starts, to expand what what starts to happen really sort of very randomly. She and her manager decided to travel up north to take a bit of a break. She wanted to travel of northern seas, snow Jen, never seen snow before
and while they were there, she made a video while they were in a marketplace with her manager. And it's a really it's it's one of those where you look at it now and you're like what did we really see in it? It's just a video of this girl, who's kind of training in front of the camera, and she asked him we didn't know I was her manager of a systematic standing by her side, and she said how I'm looking and it was the botched English. It was the delivery, it was. The wish was printing in front of the camera and she repeatedly asked him. How do you think I'm doc and she's regarding him on she says: do you think I look sexy using color cod I'm looking at me marvelous mountainous and she's a shared that video on her facebook page along with a bunch of other photographs from the trip? Some
call dad video and that phrase how I'm looking became the catch phrase. It was the flavor of the month. People started making these videos where they mimic her and she became the butt of a joke and everything that line. How I'm looking got repeated over and over celebrities got on to it and they stop making videos and sharing it on their social media, but they were saying the line. No one knew this girl was no unremembered. Oh yes, she's that Pakistan idle girl. Who is it video that was doing the rounds and we wanted to make fun of it the way she spoke the way she was blatantly asking for a day- and I went viral and from ere. She realized I'm going to keep making videos and keep putting them up on my facebook page that
even if people are laughing at me or if they don't like what I'm wearing or they think it's too controversial or it's kind of scandalous. I need to just keep them watching, even if the comments are just to make fun of me in two thousand and fifteen, she was reported to be one of the ten most googled people in Pakistan and was appearing on talk chose, and even the news papers, culture, the country's first social media, STAR and Pakistan's Kim Kardashian. By this time she was living in Karachi, the law just city in Pakistan and sending money home to help her family ass. She became more famous her videos became more controversial in February two thousand. Sixteen, the president urged people not to celebrate Valentine's day, saying Valentine's day has no connection with our culture and it should be avoided in
Bonds can deal posted a video calling politicians idiots and wishing her followers happy Valentine's day and then in March she made a video in advance of a big cricket match India versus Pakistan that shocked alot of people right before the match. You posted this video was for the bag. Asani cricket team. Captain and she's laying on her bed and you can kind of see her cleavage and she makes this video where she says if you win I'll, do a strip tease for you like live on my facebook page to celebrate, When and I really want you to win and as a strip, I'm going to say your name and I'm going to dance for you a lot of people to have seen something like it. I remember meetings this one young reporter, and I asked him like Y Y with men in his newsroom so fast it had by her, and he said it's when we saw that video for the cricket captain and we looked at this woman
We just never seen a woman, even speaking like that like. Where would we have encountered that? And they were just fascinated that this woman did it and she was afraid of the reaction that she got even if people all her shameless or called names and hidden. Into care and they didn't understand what kind of woman wouldn't back down or be afraid that sort of thing a step further and can deal was always doing that she was always trying to give us, the newest thing, something that would really shock us really surprised us beneath the video one user commented. Please shoot her. Wherever you find her. Four months later, she was dead, I'm Phoebe
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disgusting? If I had a body like that, I would hide that body. I wouldn't short off. There are a lot of rape threats. I mean Men would even just do something I post a picture of a gun I'm going to find out exactly where you live and I'm going to come, find you, and why are you in this online. Why can't you just shut up? Why can't you just go away? I want to make you disappear things I that lake endless comments, endless message is about how disgusting she was, how she deserve to die and those things that were being said publicly. I can't even imagine what it was like and how private messages why so mad. I think she really confused them. I think she enraged them because, no matter what they said it didn't seem to affect her. When I talk to her friends, they do talk about how hurt she was by
of the messages how she couldn't understand them and there are moments where she would do like Facebook live streams or chats, and she would say you know if she would hit back at some of these people and she say if you really don't like what I'm doing or you find it so disgusting. Why do you even come to my facebook page? Why do you even want to watch me? Why can't you just leave me alone, am I doing to you. How am I offending you? Just don't look at me and it was men and women by the way that would leave these messages, I'm focusing on the man, but it was a lot of women as well, who said you're so disgusting or we think, like you, should just die or things they better to say what they wish would happen to her or aren't you ashamed of yourself like how does. Father or your brother. Your husband allow you to do this and she most other heels in and said the more you say this to me, the more you threatened the more I'm going to make you angry by what I'm doing and I'm just gonna keep upping the anti that confused them, like what kind of woman doesn't back down. Look at a woman
really believes it's her right to put her body out there in whatever way she wishes to what kind of woman asks for attention or wants you to tell her that you think she's sexy or attractive or beautiful, like what kind of Woman does that in his soul, blatant about wanting your attention when clerics start, condemning her, tell tell me about the outrage from the culturally conservative community about what she's doing not just men posting in saying terrible things, but but these figures of power, I think that shit this came on their radar when she met a cleric. It was here and there was a Clara Quite at that point he was one who has invited
under a lot of talk, shows he was invited on to give his opinion. He really knew how to give good tv accuser different from a lot of clerics, where he's not that sort of stern faced a dollar, a sort of like just passing religious judgment on people he made jokes. He would like big just be funny. He would give good tv, but also was religiously quite knowledgeable So he was a fixture on tv and she was invited to be on a talk show with him a long white were under cracking jokes and at the end of it, he said you know I'm ever in Karachi, like I'd like to meet you, and she says yes of course, and it turns out that travel here and asked to meet her And she went and met him at his hotel and on the way there she tweets that she's on her way to meet this man and while she's in the hotel, in his room. She shares a number of pictures in the pictures she said he sitting in it
so far. I think she's perched on the arm and another one she's wearing his cap, the buttons on his collar or undone. His hair looks a little dishevelled and she tweets those images she says, she's having such a fine time with him and then she laughed and she tweeted about how he had behaved and appropriately with her inside that room behind closed doors and that sort of really struck. Where people he obviously denied it and it will turn round and said what were you even doing in this man's room? Why were you even there at that? Man, also for many people became a laughing stock and it was the conversation was well. Of course. These clerics are all hypocrites, of course, behind stores they do exactly what they want, whereas they preach to us about how we should live our lives, and I think that when it became a pro
for a lot of conservative people, and especially with the clergy. But how is it that this woman, whoever she is However scandalous she is. She is one of our own and she has managed to make a joke out of him. That was very difficult for a lot of people, the stomach. What happens next so, after the run in with the cleric and the way that she was sort of making fun of the whole situation on twitter, and she said a lot of things on twitter about how hypocritical these religious leaders, how many of them are just so hypocritical and they behaved a certain way and private and she she hinted at how she was going to expose all of them, and you saying things like that, which was he's getting a lot of attention. I think at that point there was hardly a day when can deal wasn't in the news in some way. Her name was also mentioned in parliament, as the part of it
no, but it was like she had reached that level of notoriety where she was so well known, and there was a newspaper that ran a story one day with pictures of her passport. That had a name on their that wasn't can deal and they had this entire story. About how the stuff that she was saying about. Herself was all a lie. Like her real name wasn't even can deal, they show, details about her marriage, the fact that she'd been married, then you about her stand at the transport company working as a bus hostess, and it was an attempt to take this woman down and discredit her what does that have changed the story from the things that she was saying about the clerk and had worked, we just that story begins. Huge and when people suddenly found out that this person that should created that we just completely bought into what real.
There are a lot of questions about that and its tourists it doctor stirring at this and tat she built up and things slowly, starting to unravel for her we'll be right. Back support for criminal comes from quip, equip designed and elect toothbrush to help Ukraine. Habits, and now they ve launch new gum, that's actually good for your oral health. They can help prevent cavities and fresh and grand, and I think it s great if you gotta, get quick dot com, slash criminal right now, you get a free refilling plastic gum dispenser with any refill plan. That's a free dispenser at get whipped out com, Slash criminal, spelled G eighteen.
Are you, I dot com, slash criminal, quip, good habits company by the summer of two thousand six. Teen, Candia Bologna felt, unsafe and her home. In Karachi, she appealed to pack dance interior minister for police protection. There was no response. Sonoma her says, can deal decided to go home to be with her mother father. This was around the time of aid, which is end of the month of fasting and we sell it and let them celebrate he that that times at the diamond you get together with your family and she decided she wanted to be back with her parents. She's, avoiding any media calls anything like that spending time a ban she liked to play music for her father. She said that I'm happiest leg pressing my mother's feed, your giving her massages and things she liked to do those things
and then one night her brother comes over and he makes all of them before they go to sleep. He makes them a drink with milk, with warm milk, and they all have it and what they dont noise. That he's added a sedative too. That said, Knox them all out. What happened? this is. What the parent remember happening is there were sleeping separate a and conceals mother woke up in the morning and felt very groggy ass. She couldn't understand why her head felt so heavy. She couldn't walk straight she's. Trying to get some breakfast together. He's calling for can deal, there's no answer from the room and then wasn't she opens the door to the wrong and she's Is her daughter on the bed and her daughters, dad the brothers nowhere found. Their son is nowhere to be found in the room. Things have been done and from the room from around the house, some valuables money. Some jewelry and they put two and two together-
there and apparently during the night, the brother want. He dropped down when they were all asleep. He brings some one else over. He brings one of his cousins over and they going to convene room and the brother said at first. He said that he was one who strangled her, but then he should have changed the story afterwards and he said: will my cousin actually did it and I just held her down her brother went back to the village and in the morning, People saw him in the village marketplace on his motorbike, just like driving around the marketplace very proud of what he had done being very vocal about what he done and his idea was. You guys daunted me for not taking care of this problem and now look at what I've gone and done, and I've taken care of it and she can no longer disrespect me or my family.
How come a little bit about honour killings in Pakistan? How frequent are honoured? things in Pakistan? Am we describe what I'm even to what I am saying this? What what am I even saying honour killing takes place. I mean Honour killing is essentially it's a murder or murder by another name, but it takes place within a very specific context when a man or woman is believed to have broken the rules in some way that could be. The rules of your sister I read the rules of your family, the rules of your clan on your broken the rules and stepped out of line in some way, and you need to be punished because that punishment, then is a message, everybody else in that society or family that have used up out of line. If you challenge a thought,
Are you trying to change things or change, tradition or rules or behave differently? This is what could happen to you as a way of retaining a status quo. Exists and that can be in many different situations or, for instance, something that's very honour killings. You ask me how how common they are here in Pakistan, their extra the common and the conviction rate for them, is very low. I believe back in egg a year or two, the boy was ass, Louis two percent and sometimes can be for something like someone, a man or woman decides to marry someone of their own choice. Someone they fall in love. They don't ask their parents to get married to that person back and be seen as just respecting your family. In some instances it is something like a brother, and these are all real cases- are brothers sees his sister domned someone on a mobile phone and he demands. You know who it is, and the sister, if you
just to tell him he's convinced you're talking to a boy, you have a boyfriend, you haven't said anything about that to us he killed. It can be parents doing it to their children can be siblings. It can be husbands with wives, its men and women. But of course it is definitely more women than men that are affected by honour crimes. Every year according to the most recent human rights report from the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, published into some twenty quote. Women continue to bear the brunt of society's fixation with honour cinema. Her says that after candles murder, some people in Pakistan celebrated Someone on Twitter wrote her brother did well some speculated that the cleric the cheap posed within the hotel them Mufti Abdul Coffee was connected to her murder. When
It was approached by a television reporter. He said in the future, before you humiliate the clergy. You should remind yourself of this woman's fate there also protests in vigils, some held signs. That said no country for bold women. One activists told reporters that it appears. It is very easy The old woman in this country, candles murder, was reported around the world. Can deal- was killed. The case also became so huge and got such massive attention made. Attention even internationally. Suddenly the government look really bad and look like we don't care that more than a thousand people were being killed in a year. These kinds of crimes and what actually existed at the time was. There was a loophole in the laws which allow
But for the person who has been killed, their family members can forgive the person who has killed them, you're allowed to forgive the killer or accept a financial compensation for the murder and murderer walk Scot Free doesn't have to spend a single day in jail even at the problem. With this loophole is honour crimes take place within families. And they take place within communities that are very tightly net. So, let's say a husband kills a wife on the pretext of honor he suspects,
try doing something his and a lot of times. It's it's literally. It's just suspicion of bad behaviour or having an affair. Its won't even compete. Proof suspicion is enough, so this man killed this woman according to the loophole that existed. The woman's family could forgive the man, the man could pay them a certain amount of money, or they could just forgive him for committing a crime a lot of times when you're living in this in community or you are all part of the same family or there's intermarriage, or things like that. If a brother kills his sister at the aggrieved party of the parents of both those people, they can forgive the song and that's it. Nothing happens when candy is brother killed her. He knew that this is what happens with a lot of instances of honor crimes. He thought he would walk completely free
when the police find him, and they present him before this press conference with all these journalists, who very proudly admits to all of them that he has killed his sister, but because kind The absolute was so well known in Pakistan. Her murder was not handled quietly there his immense pressure on the government to do something. In October, two thousand, sixteen the pakistani Parliament approved Anti honour, killing and anti rape legislation. The legislation was Jane, she was fast track and change. Families can no longer forgive the killers. The only thing They can do is saved the killer or pardon him from the death penalty. The killer will, regardless, if found guilty, serve life in prison, said the legislation, changes and suddenly candy brother realises, is in a very sticky situation. He changes the story, he says no, I actually, I lost my nerve at the last minute.
I couldn't do it. It was my cousin that did it. I didn't actually killer. I just said that, because everyone is saying that I needed to deal with my sister and that she was so shameless, and I to do something about it did her. Parents, forgive their son enough so that he wasn't up for the death penalty suggests ways. Something very unusual condemn the case where the parents were outraged by what had happened. There was this There were all these interviews with these with this man in this, men who turned round and said our son should be hanged for what he's done? We think it is completely. We don't want to pardon He's taken our child away from us. We want him to get the most severe punishment possible and a lot of people were really taken aback because to see these two people stand.
For their daughter and her daughter, who had been raped publicly flouting the rules and behaving quarter unheard badly to see them stand up. Her and to say no. She was better than any of our sons and she provided for us. She took care of us and he's killed.
Her. We want him to be punished. That was very unusual. That's also, I think why the case got a lot of attention, because it was such an anomaly from the cases that usually take place here where families cover for one another. The trial lasted for three years. The primary defendant was Condal s brother, but there were many others accused of being involved, her cousin, her other brothers, a neighbor, a driver and also the cleric Mufti Abdul Coffee. There were rumors that he had transferred money into Condal S, Brothers Bank account, but in the end everyone was acquitted, except for Condal S. Brother critic speculated that the cleric had paid off investigators
His supporters showered him with rose petals ass. He left the court building years into the trial. Condos parents change their mind about wanting their son punished. They submitted a written statement saying that they had forgiven him and asking the court to forgive him as well. The judge denied their request and conceals brother was sentenced to life in prison on September twenty seventh, two thousand nineteen, their son. Many honour crimes every year in Pakistan, but if you ask the average pakistani to even name one of those people or tell you what they look like. Could be so difficult to do that. We forget them by the time. The next Today's news comes around. Their stories are buried inside the newspaper, just a small item about it. Nothing is ever so have investigated. Further canoe was dear friend, because
She was someone who, every day, when you wake up when you go to your face probation scrolling through a cheese there amongst your friends and family and colleagues, you seeing her updates you're sharing her videos with friends. Dating hurry or making fun of her and to see This woman behaved awaited. She did and suddenly have her be punished for it. It really is did a lot of young men and women where they turned around and said what kind of place are we living in where something like this is possible. I think it really brought home the severity of these crimes and the ways in which you can be punished for stepping out of line. I think, this is dangerous. You really brought home to us like what kind of lives want to have ourselves as young Pakistanis. What do we dream off? ourselves. What are the same We are willing to fight for knowing how things can turn knowing how it can old is unravel and a minute Sonoma her wrote a book.
About Congo Bulge. It's called a woman like her story behind the honour killing a social media star right Candia was buried, her mother covered her hands and feet, and Hannah and kiss them before covering her in a white trout, a local tradition. The chose everyone that the woman being buried was a martyr she d, for some cause and died with honour, criminal is created by born spore and me needed Wilson, is our senior producer zennor. Britain is our producer mix by Michael Ratio,
Julian. Alexander makes original illustrations preach episode of criminal. You can see them at. This is criminal dot, com warrant, Facebook and twitter at criminal show. Criminal is recorded in the studio of North Carolina public radio, debut you see we're proud member of Radio Toby from PR acts, a collection of the best podcast around I'm Phoebe Judge this is criminal being reviewed.
Transcript generated on 2021-02-12.