Noor Alsaffar ("Noor BM")Age 23
25 Sep 2023
TDoR list ref: tgeu/tdor2023/25-Sep-2023/Noor Alsaffar
Noor was apparently gender nonconforming rather than trans. They were shot in front of their home in what appears to have been a targeted execution.
Baghdad, Iraq (CNN) — A popular Iraqi TikTok personality was shot dead on Monday in Baghdad, an Iraqi security source told CNN.
Known on social media as “Noor BM,” 23-year-old Noor Alsaffar had over 370,000 followers collectively on Instagram and TikTok. Alsaffar mostly posted short videos showing dresses, hair and makeup styles, often dancing to music. Following news of the shooting, many posted comments lamenting Alsaffar’s death. Some others cheered it, celebrating the man who fired the shot.
The Iraqi security source told CNN that “an investigation has been opened,” speaking on condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to speak to the media. “The deceased has been taken to the forensic department.”
Khaled Almehna, spokesperson for the Iraqi police, described the attack as a “criminal incident” on Tuesday, adding that he will provide “important updates” at a later time.
The killing comes as Iraq cracks down on LGBTQ expression and moves to criminalize it in law. While being queer is not explicitly banned under current Iraqi legislation, LGBTQ people are often targeted under vague morality clauses in its penal code.
Before the shooting, Alsaffar faced online abuse, as well as questions about sexuality and gender. In a 2020 interview on Iraq’s Al Walaa channel, Alsaffar said: “I’m not transgender and I’m not gay. I don’t have other tendencies, I’m only a cross-dresser and a model.” Alsaffar identified as male who worked as a model and makeup artist.
Note that how Noor identified at the time of their death is not entirely clear. One report claimed they had recently come out as transgender.
Noor's Instagram profile was https://www.instagram.com/norbmmw/. The account has since been cleaned, and is now completely empty.