Woman killed and buried by brothers ‘angry she had Snapchat’, sister claims

A Saudi Arabian woman is suspected of being murdered by her own brothers because she had a Snapchat account, according to reports.

This week the #SaveManalSisterofQamar began circulating widely among Arabic-speaking social media users.

The activist slogan refers to a 26-year-old woman named Qamar, who went missing in the central Saudi Arabian province of Al-Kharj on January 19. Her body was later found buried in the desert.

The victim's sister Manal suspects their conservative brothers of the crime, and has written of her belief online.

She claims the men killed Qamar after becoming angry upon discovering she had a public Snapchat account.

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After Manal wrote about the case on social media she was reportedly detained by the Al-Kharj police, who are understood to have demanded she stop publicising her sister's death.

Now women's rights activists have flooded social media with the defiant hashtag in an attempt to shed light on what's becoming a more and more common form of honour killing.

Honour killing refers to the murder of a person (typically a woman) for defying the social norms of their culture, community or religion.

The killing is usually carried out by the victim's own relatives who feel the person has brought shame or disrepute upon the family.

The horrific practice is common in the Middle East and South Asia, but there are also approximately 12 to 15 honour killings carried out in the UK each year.

July 14 is a national day of remembrance for "Britain's Lost Women" who died in honour killings.

Social media has complicated the issue, as women can now speak more openly about honour killings and other acts of misogyny.

  • The harrowing true story behind ITV’s Honour – the honour killing of Banaz Mahmod

However it may also make them more likely to be targeted, with some religious fundamentalists disapproving of women expressing themselves online.

In 2019 a Palestinian teenager named Israa Ghrayeb was beaten to death by her male relatives after she posted a photo of herself and a boyfriend online.

Last year a 14-year-old Jordanian girl was stabbed to death by her brother after she started a Facebook page.

A number of female Egyptian influencers were arrested in 2020 in a crackdown on "inappropriate" TikTok videos.

Local MPs had urged the government to increase monitoring and censorship of apps used by young people, with one saying social media users were "violating public morals and Egypt's customs and traditions".

In 2018 Egypt adopted a cyber crime law that grants the government full authority to censor the internet and exercise communication surveillance, while a media regulation law also allows authorities to block individual accounts.

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