Body of Mariam Moustafa flown to Egypt for burial

Mariam Moustafa suffered a brain haemorrhage after being attacked in the UK city of Nottingham on February 20.

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    Mariam Moustafa died three weeks after she was attacked [Al Jazeera screengrab]
    Mariam Moustafa died three weeks after she was attacked [Al Jazeera screengrab]

    The body of an 18-year-old engineering student who died after being attacked in an English city has been flown to Egypt for burial.

    Mariam Moustafa, who arrived in Britain five years ago with her family in search of a "better life, according to her father, was assaulted by a gang of teenagers in Nottingham on February 20.

    She was initially released from hospital but then readmitted after suffering a brain haemorrhage. Moustafa was placed in a medically induced coma at Nottingham City Hospital, where she died on March 14.

    Moustafa's body arrived on Friday in the Egyptian capital, Cairo, where she will be buried.

    On Wednesday, hundreds of mourners, including local council members and police representatives, gathered at Nottingham's Islamic Centre to attend the first of two funeral services held for the teenager.

    'You can only imagine the feeling'

    "Mariam's dad was very upset and shocked," Hafiz Abdur Rahman, the imam leading the funeral prayers, told Al Jazeera.

    "He was crying. You can only imagine the feeling of a father whose daughter was killed."

    During the ceremony, Abdur Rahman said he "read a message on behalf of the community in which I first expressed my condolences and sympathies with Mariam's family.

    "The second thing I said was to demand that those responsible are brought to justice as the whole community are demanding that justice should be done for Mariam's family."

    According to Nottinghamshire Police, six girls were involved in the attack on Moustafa. Only one individual - a 17-year-old girl - was arrested in March on suspicion of assault occasioning grievous bodily harm, but has since been released on conditional bail.

    Last month, Moustafa's mother, Nesrine Abu El-Enein, posted a video to social media in which she said she believed the attack against her daughter was racially motivated.

    She said the 18-year-old and her sister, Malak, had been attacked by some in the group before, in an incident that left Mariam with a broken leg.

    'Vicious attack'

    Nottinghamshire police, however, have concluded that the assault was not hate-related. The post-mortem of Moustafa's body ruled the cause of death as "inconclusive".

    Until the cause of death is verified, police say they cannot proceed with ruling it as a hate crime.

    A statement released in March by the Egyptian embassy in London said that they were carefully monitoring Moustafa's case.

    "The government of Egypt and the embassy have been closely following the circumstances of this vicious attack with the relevant British authorities and expressed the need for those responsible to be brought to justice swiftly," the statement said.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera News


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