Who was Tiba Al Ali? Honor killing of Iraqi YouTuber sparks global outrage as alleged voice recordings surface
On January 31, Iraqi YouTuber Tiba Al Ali died at the hands of her father after the latter reportedly strangled her to death. The news of her murder, which sparked major outrage across the world, was announced by interior ministry spokesperson Saad Maan.
Maan said police previously attempted to resolve the dispute between Ali and her family members “in a definitive manner” but were left shocked by the killing:
“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.”
An anonymous police source told AFP that the “dispute” dated back several years after Ali traveled to Turkey with her family in 2017 but refused to return home and decided to settle in the country.
Reports suggest that Ali’s father was reportedly unhappy with her decision to live in Turkey by herself. Her father, whose identity was not revealed by local media, reportedly turned himself in to the police and confessed about killing his daughter, saying he wanted to “wash away the shame.”
In the wake of the brutal honor killing, alleged voice recordings from a conversation between Ali and her father surfaced online. Human rights defender Hanaa Edwar said that the audio revealed that Ali allegedly “left her family because she was s*xually assaulted by her brother.”
While the Iraqi Observatory for Human Rights also made similar allegations in reference to the audio, the voice recording remains officially unverified.
What is known about Tiba Al Ali?
Tiba Al Ali was a 22-year-old Iraqi YouTube star who gained a significant following on the platform by sharing daily life videos along with her fiance. Unfortunately, the social media influencer recently became a victim of honor killing and was murdered by her own father.
She reportedly visited Turkey in 2017 and decided to start a new life in the country. Ali refused to return home with her family and eventually settled in Turkey with her Syrian-born partner.
However, Ali’s family allegedly kidnapped her after she returned to Iraq to support her country's football team in the Arabian Gulf Cup in January. She was reportedly drugged and taken back to her family home in Al-Qadisiyyah Governorate.
As per local media reports, Ali was sleeping in her room when her father strangled her to death. The latter turned himself in to the police and confessed to the killing. No other information about Tiba Al Ali’s personal life is available at the time of writing.
Tiba Al Ali’s tragic death sparks uproar on social media
Iraqi YouTuber Tiba Al Ali’s honor killing sparked major outrage online. Social media users in Iraq, as well as netizens from across the globe, largely condemned the murder.
Several Iraqis have also called for protests in Baghdad on Sunday, February 5, to demand justice in response to Ali’s death. Meanwhile, many continued to call out the brutal incident on Twitter:
While Ali’s father is currently under investigation for her murder, Iran’s Penal Code allegedly says that he can also escape jail time by declaring the death an “honour killing.” Under the code, judges are reportedly allowed to impose lenient sentences on people who kill for “honourable motives.”