In northern Egypt, a young woman was stabbed to death outside a university in broad daylight. Authorities say the suspect is a classmate and is currently in jail. Egypt has been rocked by the killing of Naira Ashraf Abdul Qadr in front of horrified witnesses and surveillance cameras. Photos of her body went viral on social media after she was stabbed multiple times in the neck and torso at the entrance to Mansoura University.
Police report that a suspect has been taken into custody, and she admitted in an interview that he was motivated by her refusal to message him on Facebook and propose marriage. VICE reports that the defendant, identified only as Mohammed A., who was arrested at the scene, told prosecutors yesterday that Ashraf had blocked him on social media and made numerous attempts to contact her during the year-and-a-half trial, He told investigators “she was famous” and gained attention on social media.
The woman’s father reportedly admitted in a TV interview that the accused had threatened Ashraf on more than one occasion, and his family had informed police of the threats. Human rights groups have often criticized the Egyptian government for failing to protect women.
In its latest country report, Amnesty International found that the Egyptian government failed to “prevent and investigate widespread violence against women and girls”. In addition, Egyptian authorities have “carried out an aggressive arrest and prosecution campaign against female social media influencers,” violating their rights to privacy, freedom of expression and non-discrimination.
Despite calls to stop, videos of the attack and crowds approaching the site have gone viral on social media, with users in the Arab world mourning the deaths.
Witnesses told the Egyptian newspaper The Independent that the young man, a third-year art student, stabbed the woman outside the gate as she walked to a bus stop to take her home to Mahala in Galbia province. He slit the woman’s throat when passersby tried to grab him. He was eventually arrested by security forces and bystanders.