Egypt: Court upholds death sentence of Nayera Ashraf killer
An Egyptian court upheld a death sentence on Thursday against the killer of Nayera Ashraf, a university student murdered last June.
Ashraf was 21 years old when fellow student Mohamed Adel beat and stabbed her multiple times in broad daylight in June 2022 in front of shocked onlookers, after she refused his advances and a marriage proposal.
Adel appealed, but the Court of Cassation upheld the death sentence by hanging, a ruling first handed down by the Mansoura Criminal Court in June, then approved by the country's grand mufti.
Adel, who confessed to the murder, told the prosecutor that he met Ashraf at al-Mansoura University, where they were studying, and exchanged course notes and textbooks with her.
He said that Ashraf blocked him on social media when he approached her several times and that she rejected his proposal to get engaged.
Ashraf reported Adel to the authorities, fearing that he would attack her, according to her father and witnesses at the time of the trial.
"He stabbed her several times," said the prosecution, which found "messages threatening to cut her throat" on the victim's phone.
The crime triggered widespread anger in Egypt and beyond, as widely shared footage showed Adel stabbing Ashraf outside their university before being restrained by bystanders and arrested by the police.
Nearly eight million Egyptian women were victims of violence committed by their partners or relatives, or by strangers in public spaces, according to a United Nations survey conducted in 2015.
In February, the Edraak Foundation for Development and Equality released a report detailing a "notable rise" in gender-based violence in Egypt.
The report recorded 813 cases of violence against women and girls in 2021, compared with 415 such crimes in 2020.