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Teenage social media celebrity killed in Baghdad because of his looks

Screengrab from one of Hmad Majed Mutairi's social media accounts (Photo Credit: Twitter/@Jliba1997)
2018-10-12

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SULAIMANI — Video footage of a fourteen-year-old Iraqi boy being brutally murdered near his home in Baghdad, while his attacker taunts him with homophobic comments, has been circulating on social media over the past week.

The slaying of Ahmad Majed Mutairi, known as Hamoudi Mutairi on social media, is the latest in a spate of high profile killings over the past several weeks, including model Tara Fares and activist Saud al-Ali.

The video shows Mutairi bleeding profusely from multiple stab wounds to his abdomen as he lies on the ground in the Yarmouk neighborhood, while his attacker questions his victim’s sexuality.

Suffering in pain and looking down at his body, Mutairi asked where the blood was coming from. A voice from off camera replied, “Your guts outside your body.”

He then asked to be taken to the hospital and to see his mother.

“I want to see my mother.”

Mutairi was known as the ”King of Instagram” routinely posted photos and videos that challenged gender stereotypes, wearing his hair long and using various filters.

Online, many people expressed dismay and horror at Mutairi’s murder, both in that it targeted yet another social media celebrity and its apparent homophobic motive. Many commenters called on the government to do more to address the apparent upsurge in attacks targeting people who are perceived as being different.

Fares, a prominent model and social media influencer, was gunned down in Baghdad on September 27. On October 7, Interior Minister Qasim al-Araji said that preliminary investigations into her killing suggested that members of an extremist group are behind the assassination.

Two days before that, human rights activist Suad al-Ali was slain in Basra in broad daylight as she left a restaurant.

Last year, a male model Karar Nushi was found dead in Baghdad after reportedly receiving death threats over his long hair and tight-fitting clothes. Nushi was a Shia Muslim and was said to be preparing for a male beauty pageant before his death.

(NRT Digital Media)