A court in Egypt has called for the live TV hanging of a convicted murderer, arguing that it could help deter copycat killers, according to a letter quoted by local media on Sunday.
During a highly-publicized two-day trial earlier this month, 21-year-old Mohamed Adel was convicted for killing fellow student Nayera Ashraf outside Mansoura University in northern Egypt in late June. It was reported that Adel stalked the girl for some time, and when she refused to marry him, he devised a gruesome plot to kill her.
According to video footage of the incident, which went viral on social media and sparked outrage across the country, Adel repeatedly stabbed Ashraf as she got off a bus near the university, jumped on her, and slit her throat in front of a number of horrified onlookers.
Adel pleaded guilty to the murder and was sentenced to death on July 6. However, due to the heinous nature of the murder, the court now wants to make an example out of Adel, and has asked the government to allow a live national TV broadcast of the execution.
The Mansoura Courthouse wrote a letter to Egypt’s parliament explaining that publicizing the sentencing was not enough to deter similar crimes from happening in the future.
“The broadcast, even if only part of the start of proceedings, could achieve the goal of deterrence, which was not achieved by broadcasting the sentencing itself,” the letter reads, as reported by local media.
Adel’s attorney, Farid El-Deeb, who was a defense lawyer for the late ex-Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, insists that his client does not deserve the death penalty and has vowed to appeal the verdict.
The last time a capital punishment was broadcast on Egyptian national television was in 1998, when the state executed three men who killed a woman and her two children in their home in Cairo.
The murder of Ashraf, as well as other high-profile killings of women in Jordan and the UAE that happened within the same month have caused an uproar across the region and on social media. Women’s rights activists are now demanding justice and decrying the recent surge in violence against women in the Arab world.
The Egyptian Edraak Foundation for Development and Equality has said that it has documented 335 violent crimes against women and girls in Egypt between January and April of this year alone and that the country has been witnessing a “notable rise” in gender-based violence, with 813 cases being reported in 2021 compared to 415 in 2020.
According to a 2015 UN survey, nearly eight million Egyptian women claim to have experienced violence perpetrated by their husbands or relatives or by strangers on the street.