The horrific murder of a woman in Kuwait this week has sparked outrage on social media with calls for stricter punishment for perpetrators of violent crime against women in the country.
On Tuesday, Farah Hamza Akbar was killed by a man against whom she had previously filed two cases for harassment which followed her family’s alleged refusal to his marriage proposal.
The perpetrator, arrested and later released on bail, kidnapped the woman and stabbed her to death. Her body was left outside a hospital south of Kuwait City, according to the interior ministry.
Within hours of the murder, to which the man later confessed, the police arrested him, the ministry said in a statement.
A video circulating on social media showed the victim’s sister crying and screaming that she had notified authorities of the threat he posed, but said her pleas were ignored.
“That is what we got, exactly what we said, that he is going to kill her, and he killed my sister. Where is the government? We told the judge. I told you many times he would kill her, and now she’s dead,” she said in the footage.
Within hours, the victim’s name was trending on Twitter in Kuwait as hundreds expressed outrage over the crime.
Kuwaiti fashion blogger Ascia al-Faraj shared the video of the distraught sister, saying that Kuwait was “not safe for women”.
Kuwait is unsafe for women.
They will harass us until they murder us. https://t.co/miXR179u2x
— Ascia (@ascia) April 21, 2021
Several social media users held authorities responsible, saying that they should not have released the perpetrator after he had threatened to kill the woman multiple times.
The murder comes two months after Kuwaiti activists launched a nationwide campaign to end sexual harassment and violence against women.
The campaign brought forward dozens of testimonies from women in Kuwait about being stalked, harassed or assaulted, mainly from the Instagram account “Lan Asket”, Arabic for “I will not be silent”.
Al-Faraj, the blogger, released an explosive video at the time of the campaign, saying there was a “problem” in the country.
“Every time I go out, there is someone who harasses me or harasses another woman in the street,” she said in a video after a vehicle sped up to “scare” her while she was walking to her car.
“We have a problem of harassment in this country, and I have had enough.”