Examining the Killing of Iraqi TikTok Star Ghufran Sawadi

Renowned TikTok influencer in Iraq, Ghufran Sawadi, known as Om Fahad, was shot outside his home in the eastern outskirts of the capital city of Baghdad on Friday night. Security cameras captured the assailant wearing black attire as they descended from a motorcycle and fired shots at him.

The Iraqi Ministry of Interior has announced the formation of a team of experts to investigate the circumstances surrounding the murder of the influencer, who had nearly half a million followers and over three million likes on his TikTok account. He used the platform to share videos of himself dancing to various songs, providing assistance to people, and showcasing his personal life.

In February 2023, Ghufran was sentenced to six months in prison for distributing videos containing lewd conversations deemed to undermine the morals and values of Iraqi society. This verdict came alongside the sentencing of five other online content creators to prison terms ranging up to two years for various content-related offenses.

This development followed the establishment of a committee by the Iraqi Ministry of Interior in January 2023 to detect and address obscene and derogatory content circulated online by influential figures like Om Fahad. The government asserted that their actions aimed to safeguard the moral and cultural values of Iraqi families and society.


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