A Saudi Arabian woman was allegedly killed by her brothers for having a Snapchat account, according to reports. The woman went missing last Monday and her body was later reportedly found buried in the desert.
The hashtag #SaveManalSisterofQamar went viral among social media users in the Middle East. The hashtag called to save 26-year-old Qamar, who went missing in the central Saudi Arabian province of Al-Kharj. However, her body as found buried in the desert, according to reports.
Qamar's sister Manal suspected their brothers murdered her because she was active on Snapchat. Manal took to social media to inform others about the alleged crime, however, the Al-Kharj police told her to not publicize the alleged murder.
Screenshots of Manal's post went viral on Twitter prompting social media users to take note of the case. Users slammed Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for not taking action against honor killings in the country.
"I am angry and tired of reading such news happening every day [Saudi Arabia]. Qamar was killed by her brothers and left in the desert. Her sister Manal tries to seek justice. MBS, women empowerment starts with protecting them from their own families first," one Twitter user wrote.
Honor killing has been reported in conservative countries, where women are allegedly murdered by family members for not following conservative rules of the society. A study conducted last year found that about a third of victims were killed because of "moral deviancy," Deutsche Welle reported. Most victims reportedly were under the age of 25.
"With the rise of social media, my research supports concerns about how these codes are being used to further control online activities and shame women 'if they step out of line' or besmirch the family 'honor.' We need to lean in and further understand how these codes operate in the digital world," Aisha K. Gill, a professor of criminology at the University of Roehampton in the U.K., told the news outlet.
Apart from this, some TikTok users in Egypt have been arrested for flouting local morality laws. In Iraq, "behavior on social media, such as clicking on a 'like' button of an 'objectionable' Facebook page, could lead to tribal sanctions, including significant financial compensation," Deutsche Welle reported, citing the European Asylum Support Office.