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Egypt: Outrage over second murder of female student in less than 2 months 

August 10, 2022 at 10:50 am

20-year-old Egyptian student Salma Bahgat was stabbed to death 17 times after rejecting a suitor in Egypt [Wirjil/Twitter]

A 20-year-old Egyptian woman has been stabbed to death 17 times just one and a half months after the brutal murder of Naira Ashraf.

According to reports, 22-year-old Islam Mohamad murdered Salma Bahgat after posting a story on his social media account threatening her when she turned down his marriage proposal.

Salma was studying mass communication at Shorouk Academy, who released a statement following news of her death: “The faculty members of the institute and the supporting body testify that she was an example of a diligent and distinguished student at the moral and scientific level, throughout the four academic teams.”

Islam Mohamad was a student at the same university. According to local media reports, Islam had “Salma my love” tattooed on his chest.

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The tragic death of Salma Bahgat and its proximity to a recent femicide which shook the country highlights how urgent it is for the Egyptian authorities to act on violence against women.

In June another Egyptian university student Naira Ashraf was beaten and stabbed to death outside Mansoura University by Mohamed Adel, whose marriage proposal she had turned down. The murder went viral as footage of the stabbing was shared online.

Whilst rights defenders called for the Egyptian government to act on violence against women, others offered Mohamed’s family money in exchange for pardoning him. “Samaritans” from Egypt and Greece offered to pay Mohamed’s legal fees.

Mohamed Adel was sentenced to death at a trial in which Naira’s family and friends said he had stalked her, which led them to report him to the police.

Mohamed had also sent text messages to Naira threatening to kill her.

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Over recent months Egyptian authorities have unleashed a campaign of arrests against women with high social media followings and accused them of outrageous “moral” charges such as “violating family principles and values.”

In one such case an influencer was sentenced to ten years imprisonment for human trafficking.

Another woman, Menna Abdelaziz, was arrested by security forces after appealing for help in a live video after she was raped and beaten.

Menna was imprisoned for four months on charges of “violating family principles and values.”

The legal system in Egypt cannot be limited to the punitive role only, especially with regard to violence against women, as in the case of Salma Bahgat, Naira Ashraf and many other cases. There must be protection means to prevent, as much as possible, the crime before it occurs. What is happening is very dangerous. Every month there is a new victim!